2014pisoni2014 Pisoni Estate, Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands.
It’s always a thrill to see the Pisoni family, in this case catch up with Mark Pisoni, who is the director of operations and the head of farming at Pisoni/Lucia Vineyards, who with only a couple of hours sleep after a another long night of picking grapes was smiling and charming, happy with this years harvest, not that is is every easy, it was more controlled as there have been some cool/mild days that have allowed a more relaxed pick. Also making an appearance at a special Chardonnay and Pinot Noir celebration in San Francisco was the man himself Gary Pisoni, coming back from seeing his grandson and engaging in son’s Jeff, the winemaker for Lucia Vineyards and the Pisoni Estate wines, crush 2016, it is always awe inspiring to see Gary, for his passion for wine, his achievements, his stories, like his bringing of La Tache cuttings home in his socks, but most of all to experience his love of family and this carries outward into the world around him, everyone that likes his wine is now family in a small way. His enthusiasm lights up the room, you can’t help but to love the man, for his style and humble grace wrapped up in an extroverted personality, much like the Pisoni Estate wines taste! I will forever be a huge and biased fan of this family and winery, that said, this 2014 Pisoni Estate Pinot Noir just might be the best and most impressive wine to date, in recent years I have found myself secretly loving the Lucia Syrah more than the Pinot Noirs, I know is not following the party line at all, but the upcoming Pisoni Estate release has brought me back, it is an amazingly elegant and detailed Pinot Noir with more delicacy and subtle layering that I can ever remember, though with still the tannin and brambly dark fruit that you’d expect from the Pisoni! Jeff Pisoni, not to sound like a broken record, keeps getting better and more stylish as a winemaker, and this 2014 Pisoni Estate will be a hard to beat masterpiece, it shows beautiful color, dark ruby with purple hints, a sexy mix of spice, briar, sweet smoke and wilted roses on the nose and a seamless palate of black and red fruits that unfold with Grand Cru class and power, with a sublime mouth feel and texture, black raspberry, cherry, plum and currant fruits seduce the senses along with mineral/loam, anise, a hint of black tea, cedar, cinnamon stick, light vanilla/espresso bean and a dusting of chalky stones. Wonderfully balanced, poised with an extra level of refinement and depth and it is ultra long, this is gorgeous stuff, serious and thought provoking, but like true great wines it can be enjoyed now and will certainly drink fantastic over the coming decade, if not for 15 to 20 years! The Pisoni legend looks set to continue for generations, these are great people making great wines from a very special place, these wines are the heart and soul of the Santa Lucia Highlands.
($90 Est.) 97 Points, grapelive

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