Monday, October 5, 2020

Phillps Hill Oppenlander Pinot Noir, 2006

The Oppenlander Vineyard is not in the Anderson Valley but about five miles northwest in Comptche's Surprise Valley at an altitude of 600 feet. Rusty Gaffney, M.D., the retired ophthalmologist who writes the free PinotFile newsletter (an excellent source of tasting notes), says that he has never had a bad wine from this vineyard. Although my experience (with Pinot Noir as well as the Oppenlander Vineyard) is miniscule compared to Dr. Gaffney's, I wholeheartedly agree.

I opened the bottle about 45 minutes before the meal. At this time, the color, smells and fruit  flavors were deep and concentrated, though not extraordinary. As the night grew on, though, the intensity and strength of the fruit continued to grow. A true "come-back-to-me" nose offering more and greater pleasure with each sniff. Cherries, dark fruit and ginger. Really, though, complexity, of the kind that comes with age, is the guiding force behind this wine with no one descriptor standing out. Complexity and intensity. The texture is incredibly silky with rich fruit flavors resting on top and a finish that refuses to stop. I can't say enough good things about this wine...or the Oppenlander Vineyard.

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