2015 Halcon Vineyards, Pinot Noir, Cerise Vineyard, Anderson Valley.
Paul Gordon’s Halcon Vineyards and winemaker Scott Shapely (Roar) have released an awesome set of wines from the small yielding 2015 vintage, and while known as a serious Syrah and cool climate Rhone inspired producer, these Pinots are fantastic, especially the 2015 Cerise, which is a gorgeous and stylish energy filled wine of class and length. Cerise Vineyard is a windswept hillside vineyard 1,200 feet above Boonville set on thin top soil over shale and schist, Halcon’s version is made up of 80% Wadenswil (Swiss Clone) and 20% Dijon Clone 115, all organically farmed, this site has produced great wines over the years since it was planted in 1995, with notable bottlings by Littorai and more recently Knez (Anthony Filiberti, Anthill Farms) before being taken over by Kosta Browne. Shapely used 20% new French oak here, allowing the vineyard and terroir to shine through, he also used native yeasts and 35% whole cluster, which gives a bit more grip and spice to balance the concentrated and perfumed fruit, but this cool site, even with dense ripeness still comes in at a very Burgundy like 12.8% alcohol, remarkable for a wine of such impact and mouth feel. The brilliant ruby/brickish garnet hue in the glass charms the eyes before a bouquet of mixed flowers, including intense rose petal and subtle violets, black walnut, framboise, liquid mineral and sweet herbs and Asian spices lead to a graceful palate of black cherry, tangy plum, huckleberry and racy/earthy currant fruits along with bright blood orange, minty tea, cinnamon stick and crunchy stones, plus a hint of saline and dried/dusty vanilla. This complex and compelling Pinot Noir has medium weight, California opulence, but with that striking mineralite that reminds me of a fine Morey-St.-Denis in the Fourrier Clos Solon Vieilles Vignes mode, and it just gets better the next day adding sharper detail and texture, highlighting it’s potential to age. These Halcon wines are intriguing and entertaining offering real value for the money, I highly recommend getting on their mailing list, don’t miss their Alturas Syrah, their signature estate wine, plus their mind blowing Tierra Petite Sirah, and certainly stock up on their Pinots, in particular, this Cerise, only 120 cases made!
($35 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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