I have served this wine to guests several times, and the response has always been positive with no mention of smokiness until I bring up the subject. Once brought to your attention, the smokiness cannot be denied; it is a major component of the wine's aroma and flavor profile. But there are so many other things to notice--all good--that there is no reason to dwell on the smokiness.
As I've mentioned before here, this 2008 failed to measure up to the owner's standards because of the smoky quality that resulted from forest fires in the area that summer. When the wine sold off at a deep discount, I bought a case for $72, less than the cost of two bottles at regular retail price.
Medium light cherry. Smoke, yes, but also wild cherries, cranberries, flowers and cinnamon. Much more elegant in its spiciness than Pinots from Santa Barbara and Monterey. This wine is definitely north coast Pinot--racy acidity and silky tannins.