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2009 Claiborne & Churchill Pinot Noir Edna Valley 13.5% $30

2009 Claiborne & Churchill Pinot Noir

Very pretty on the nose with a fine blend of herbal notes, a veneer of coffee oak and fine, wild red berry fruit. Air brings out more of the oak, which gets a touch heavy handed. A fine balance of acidity and slightly wood tannins lends this a bit of tension in the mouth with very pretty, herb-inflected red cherry and raspberry fruit on the palate. The wood is a touch more obvious than I would prefer, obscuring some of the detail of the fruit, but this fruit is so lively, fresh and aromatic in the mouth that I don't mind it too much. This shows very precise and fresh herbal nuances in the mouth as the fruit gains more of a cranberry tone to it. A little chocolate and cream pop on the back end before the tangy, tart fruit returns on the moderately long finish, though you can sense the oak under the fruit. A very happy wine. 91pts

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