2011 Aberrant Cellars 'Virtus ex' Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills, USA (750ml)
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Ripe but invigoratingly tart-edged blackberry and purple plum are garlanded in bittersweet perfumed iris and gentian, while mingled with peat, humus, and roasted red meat juices. There is a striking combination of textural richness with infectious juiciness as well as vintage-typical brightness and energy, culminating in a lingering finish at once soothing and invigorating, not to mention (in what counts as typical Aberrant Cellars fashion) persistently downright intriguing. The use of oak here, by the way, is exactly as I would claim it should be: 40% new yet in no obvious way noticeable; and the wine was bottled after 15 months. Plan to follow this at least through 2020 and probably beyond.