2016 Pinot Noir "Appellation's Edge"
Radian Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills
Well, brace yourself; here comes the robust end of the 2016 Pinots. After rolling out very pretty versions of Je Ne Sais Quoi and Precocious last fall, now the big boys are starting to arrive. Here we have another spectacular Appellation’s Edge, and in May we will have the next Slice Of Heaven and Radical. September will then complete the cycle with the delivery of Ocean’s Ghost and Déjà vu. What I love about the 2016 vintage is that the wines are so naturally full of extraction and flavor. This is a fulfillment of the vision that I started to have for the Sta. Rita Hills’ greatest vineyards a few years ago. At that time I commented in various wine notes about how my gut was telling me to take my foot off the gas pedal just a bit, thus allowing their maturing vines to spread their wings at stages of ripeness that would lead to slightly lower alcohol levels. The result, wines of great elegance that at the same time have tremendous concentration. Simply put, as the vines have become more fully entrenched in their dirt, their wines have become more packed with character. With this 2016 version of Edgy, it is an archetypical example of what the Sta. Rita Hills is going to be producing going forward, now that the vines have reached adulthood. The formula is so simple; if you love Pinot Noir, just put some of this stuff in a glass and smell it. That sweet earth is just haunting. And on the palate, the succulent layers are so good. If you want to have an understanding of why Pinot Noir at its best has so much mystique, this wine will tell you that story, and at the same time, give you a glimpse of how the game is going to be played going forward.
100% Pinot Noir, Radian Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills