Tonight’s occasion: 2017 Pinot Noir (Bel Sogno) by Dawn’s Dream Winery. Total production of 250 cases.
The nose is very restrained. Off the bat, you pick up a gentle sweet cherry and marshmallow which feels more like an interaction between berry and vanilla from the oak. I pick up another aroma far in the back I initially thought was floral but it does have a herbal quality. You have to strain to pick it out. It’s obvious this wine will not reveal itself easily. As it opens up, the nose develops a subtle creamy undertone.
Body is even more elusive. A very subtle tartness greets the palate. However just as you expect a hit of acidity, a noticeable chalky texture takes over and dominates the rest of the experience. Remember these are all whispers. I’ve never actually felt (not just tasted) this type of chalky minerality in a wine. An interesting expression of the terroir through the grape, unhindered by the winemaker. A testament to their skill and craft. None of the fruit is carried forward. Towards the back gentle but very present tannins bring good structure as they guide you to a fairly dry finish capped by a hint of spice that doesn’t linger very long.
This wine should not be paired with anything. You will miss the whole affair with a tainted palate. It is different in it’s own way yet very familiar in its elusive expression. I’ve seen this before from this region. Bel Sogno is a very mature Pinot, made more in the traditional style with a little Coastal California flare. It is showing really well right now and should be perfect over the next several years. I wonder what it’s progression over time will be like. It is an elegant, graceful, wine that prompts reflection.
As I follow this bottle through the evening, I keep thinking I should start a vertical in my cellar to better follow its evolution. I can think of only one other wine in my cellar that this reminds me of.
|Vineyard:||Pelio Vineyards, Monterey County|
|Clones:||828, 667 & 115|
|Harvest Date:||September 13th 2017|
|Fermentation:||Stainless Steel Open-Top with manual Punch-Down|
|Oak:||12 months 100% new French Oak|
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