2018 Pinot Noir "Radical"
The Radian Vineyard is as close as you can get to the ocean and still be in the Sta. Rita Hills on Santa Rosa Road. The pinot blocks that I typically work out of, 42 and 33, are on steep hillsides that are extremely exposed to a cool wind (that we affectionately call the “breeze”) that arrives most every day like clockwork from the ocean. This breeze serves as a governor, slowing down the development of vines that are already planted in well drained, stress providing soils. The result at the vine level is a very long hang time for the fruit. The result at the wine level is power; color, tannin, and tremendous fruit weight. Thus, I think it’s fair to say, the edgy qualities of these vineyard blocks are essentially the causal factors behind consistently amazing wines. In a word, these terroirs are Radical.
This 2018 bottling has very amplified characteristics. But, while all of its constituents are big, they are also perfectly juxtaposed. Think of it as Slice Of Heaven on steroids. It’s fruit is darker and more herbal.
I am not saying it’s a better wine. In fact, Slice is prettier. She’s sexier at this point. Radical is more chunky and brooding. He is the kind of Pinot that may very well be drinking beautifully long after I am gone. And while Slice may go the distance as well, she is the one I’m having a second glass of right now.
Radian Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills