2008 Black Kite Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley
Fairly dark and extracted for a Pinot, its color belies its light delicate body. Immediately after opening straight from the cellar, I got a slight whiff of SO2, but that quickly dissipated. After about 10 minutes in the glass (and warmed up a bit), I started getting cherry cola, smokey bacon & earthy aromas. Ripe cherry and slight citrus flavors on the palate with a very soft and pleasant lingering finish. Not lively enough acidity for what I would consider a food wine, so that’s why I opened it after dinner and enjoyed it with Sheri as a nightcap.
Black Kite uses three four-acre blocks in Kite’s Rest Vineyard in Mendocino County for this wine, River Turn block, Stoney Terrace block and Redwoods’ Edge block, each named after the predominate geological feature of that block. They also produce block specific Pinots, but I thought this blend of these three blocks exhibited the most complexity and elegance.
It is a great example of why I’m really lovin’ Anderson Valley for Pinot. And with all the great press that the 2007 and 2009 vintages are getting, 2008 might just be the forgotten middle child of California vintages—overlooked but still very good. I rarely pay full retail now for my wine and I’ve been truly spoiled, (it’s also why I rarely review wines now) but since this was through a small wine shop in Hopland, it hit my wallet hard. I paid $45 for this bottle but it was worth every cent.