2012 vintage notes
95 points Wine Advocate: While the elderberry, blackberry and cassis evinced by Brittan’s 2011 Pinot Noir Gestalt Block preserve a vintage-typical tart edge, they’re possessed of a succulent sweetness and embedded in a more polished, downright satin-textured palate performance than was the case with the corresponding Basalt Block. Smaller clusters and berries here make for incredible density and phenolic concentration and I can feel and taste that on multiple levels, even though those facts seem to utterly belie this wine’s refined and alluring texture. (As intimated in my introduction, root penetration and soil structure – not just vine genetics or exposure – almost certainly, somehow, play a role in determining these characteristics.) As this opened to the air, a sense of high-toned distilled fruit essences became penetratingly and invigoratingly evident. The salt and stone borne along in the onrush of bright, juicy finishing fruit here is more severely – almost stunningly – gripping and salivary gland-milking than in its Basalt Block counterpart (which, incidentally, was the barely higher pH and alcohol – albeit at just under 13% – of the two). I’d plan on following this memorably refined, dense and energetic Pinot through at least 2025.