Mon 3 Oct 2011
Probably all writers about wine use one or two terms more often than they should. One of my own forays into over-exposure is the word “lovely,” by which I try to convey in a single adjective all the accumulation of delicacy, elegance, appeal, prettiness and balance that makes a wine so irresistible. “Lovely” is not “gorgeous”; the latter implies an element of powerful glamor and sexiness, of purposeful artfulness, that loveliness does not convey. “Lovely” seems more naturally affecting, more innocent (not to get too anthropomorphic) and artless. So, here I go, pulling out that word again, because the X Winery Truchard Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009, Carneros-Napa Valley, is about as lovely as pinot noir gets in California. The color is an enchanting radiant black cherry-ruby hue through and through; winsome aromas of black cherry, cranberry and rhubarb, cloves and cola beguile the nose. Give this a few minutes in the glass and elements of briers and brambles, moss and leather, crushed violets and lavender appear. The wine aged 12 months in mostly French oak, 30 percent new barrels; the moderation displayed in this oak treatment results in a pinot noir that’s firm but supple, a bit lithe yet altogether satiny in texture. Flavors of black cherry and plum are ripe and slightly macerated, touched with cloves and sandalwood, and they unfold to reveal a structure of soft, dusty graphite and mildly dense tannins, all backed by essential, almost resolute acidity. 14.5 percent alcohol. Winemakers were Reed Renaudin and Gina Richmond. Drink now through 2013 or ’14. Excellent. About $27.
A sample for review.