2016 Halcon Vineyards, Pinot Noir, Bearwallow Vineyard, Anderson Valley.
Paul Gordon’s Halcon Vineyards is most known for their estate high elevation Syrah and Rhone style wines, but you’d be missing out if you didn’t give their latest set of Pinot Noir(s) a look, especially this new Bearwallow, made by the talented Scott Shapely (Roar & Flywheel) it comes from a brand new star vineyard, owned by Rhys’ Kevin Harvey in the western most hills of the Anderson Valley. This all biodynamic Vineyard is a densely planted site sitting on sandstone, shale, quartz and schist soils, it’s an extreme place for vines, but the promise here is amazing, with Gordon getting 100% Swan Clone for this bottling and Shapely using native yeasts, 35% whole cluster, it saw a four day cold soak and a two week maceration/primary ferment then to tank to settle, before aging in 20% new Francois Freres barrels (elegant French oak) finishing up into bottle without finning or filtration. This beautiful and bright, light ruby hued 150 case Halcon Bearwallow is wonderfully charming, delicate and surprisingly lengthy for such a youthful Pinot Noir and I sincerely marveled at it’s graceful expression and class in the glass with it’s pretty layering of fruit and mineral character, it lingers on and on with tangy raspberry, morello cherry, snappy spices and herbs along with that kiss of vanilla from the wood, it gains impact and mouth feel with air adding a touch of briar, pepper, lavender and sweet strawberry essences along with faint wilted roses. At 12.7% this light/medium bodied effort is stunningly fine effort and a wine that slowly seduces, then turns on the sex appeal in a rush of pleasure, it’s still early days, but I can imagine sublime and rewarding drinking over the mid term, I hope to re-visit this one again and again, after 3 to 5 years!
($42 Est.) 92-94 Points, grapelive

By admin