Call from FedEx, they no longer bother to call for the large boxes, just the little ones; three smaller boxes in, come get 'em.
Two were Stillman swill, and the third had a replacement bottle I was expecting, but also held something else…
2011 Bell Wine Cellars Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley OR
This sounded somewhat familiar, ah, yes, Alex Spanos, owner of the San Diego Chargers is involved with this winery. Now we just had the Big Guy a few days ago, despite being from S.D. I still don't give a patootie about the Chargers, but a free bottle is just that, and I'll pull a cork given the opportunity. Chilled down a bit and out comes a nice slightly waxy cork, but check out those tartrate crystals! And this is just a 2011. This was only bottled seven months ago. Do they really form that quickly? Guess so.
Nice and clear light garnet, with a few crystals that had fallen down and easily removed, and medium slow forming legs on the pour.
I ended up chilling this a bit much I think, low 50's, and it came out a bit muted; cherry, cranberries and pomegranate; but none of the earth, forest or mineral notes I had expected.
Entry was tart, tart, tart; entire mouth tingling tart, clear to the finish; didn't expect that, even given the 0.65 gm/100ml TA.
Going to let this warm and hopefully open up a bit, and coming back a couple hours later with it now in the higher 60's it had changed substantially.
The fruit was still dominant, barely, now there clearly was the addition oak/tannin.
Way more on the palate as well, the tannins were now dominating the fruit; too warm, at least for my tastes.
A brief chilling back to the low 60's tamed the tannins, but they were still firmly in the picture, and a bit too forward for what really seems a pretty simple bottle. I'm missing the complexity of earth, forest and mushroom I so enjoy in a PN, just not here at all.
Not sure if I've ever had a PN that was such a chameleon with temperature.
SWMBO said only "vinegar", guess she doesn't like tart PN's, cause there's gobs of acid, but I don't think any vinegar here.
She's doing much better with some reds, but still prefers her off-dry whites.
This is definitely a food only wine at this point. Showed better for me with seared Salmon and Rosemary, steamed broccoli with cheese, and a mixed spinach/strawberry/pine nut/goat cheese salad with Concannon aged balsamic.
Going to have to revisit this tomorrow, in the hopes it comes together a bit better than what I've seen so far today...