Thursday, August 10, 2017

Review: Baxter 2014 Run Dog Vineyard Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, CA ($52)

I recently had the pleasure of writing a story about the bounty of Anderson Valley for the San Francisco Chronicle recently. I am lately swooning over the wines from this cool part of Mendocino County in Northern California. There are a number of extraordinarily talented, youngish winemakers forging a sleek, elegant, refreshing style of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. One of them is  California educated and Burgundy trained Phil T. G. Baxter. I first tried his wines a year and a half ago on a weekend tour of Anderson Valley with my beloved Elise. On that weekend, Baxter's wines seemed to have a profound duality of new world freshness and just a hint of old world earthiness and rusticity. This latest bottling of the Run Dog Vineyard Pinot Noir is breathtaking. In this case, I'd go so far as to throw the old world reference out the window. This is a minimalist new world endeavor by my estimation. Only three barrels (less than a thousand cases) were made. It is very much a "less is more" wine with zero new oak, vibrant violet, lavender and blueberry aromas, focused, lively raspberry fruit notes and superb overall balance. It's just drop dead delicious, and the kind of new wave California wines that belongs in any discussion of the world's best Pinot Noir. At $52 a bottle, it still seems like a relative bargain. Track it down here(96 Points)

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