2018 Pinot Meunier, Christina's Vineyard Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
The 2018 Pinot Meunier sets itself apart from Pinot Noir immediately with its bright violet red color bordering on magenta. The vibrant color carries over to the nose, where the fruit notes practically jump from the glass. Ripe, bright red cherry, raspberry compote, cranberry and soft cinnamon are supported by aromas of sweet tobacco and wet rocks. On the palate, you can see why this varietal is used to bring complexity to sparkling wines: rich, vibrant red fruit flavors are bolstered by steely acidity that brings the wine into immediate focus. Soft, plummy tannins round out the mouth and counter the acidity, bringing everything into balance. Though drinking beautifully upon release, those with patience will be rewarded by cellaring the bottling 4-5 years after vintage date to allow the immediate “baby fat” to mellow and give way to secondary notes of jam, leather and forest floor.