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Johan Vineyards Nils Reserve Pinot noir 2012
$43.95 regular/ $39.55
Any 12 bottles or Build Case

Johan Vineyards Three Barrel Pinot noir 2012


Winery:
Johan Vineyards


$53.95 Regular

$48.55
in any 12 bottle order or Build a Case

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Review:

This wine's beyond my comprehension.

I've been tasting Oregon Pinot noir professionally for eleven years, yet writing about wine in a meaningful way gets continually more challenging. I'm in an active battle against overly flowery tasting notes -- the ones that mention fruits or flora that few people on earth have ever smelled or tasted -- because they're mostly BS, and because they perpetuate snobbery that I don't like.

It's my job to advise you what to buy in an honest, down-to-earth way. I strive to use accessible descriptors and imagery. After three weeks' effort, I'll admit this wine is beyond my comprehension. It is awesome. With that, my advice: buy Johan Three Barrel Pinot noir 2012.

There will be other Pinot noirs - there always are - but there will not be another like Johan Three Barrel 2012. It is a standout wine in a standout vintage.

This wine is an experience, a process, an enigma. It is super-complex and aromatically bold in a way that after three weeks' effort I still can't describe. It is like floating on a pillowy cloud of red fruit. It is silky and elegant in a way that only Pinot noir can be. It is drink-the-whole-bottle tasty right when you open it, and bury-in-the-cellar-for-a-decade age-worthy. It is so beyond comprehension that we scrapped our original Reserve Pinot wine club selections for July to include it.

Johan's goal with Three Barrel is to maximize aromatic complexity and perfume, to select the three most alluring and exotic barrels from the vintage, ending up with aroma and flavor characteristics that are beyond their comprehension, and mine. 

2008 vintage notes: Usually, I keep my cool when tasting wine at the store. I tend to "filter" my thoughts, not showing my hand, whether I love a wine or think it sucks.

The other day I had a visit from the folks at Johan Vineyards, and I broke my own rule. They poured a few new releases, which I liked, then the subject wine: 2008 Three Barrel Pinot noir. Without thinking, I blurted out "holy sh#t!" before looking up at the two wide-eyed visitors. The aromas alone were cuss-worthy and once I had a mouthful, I'm pretty sure I repeated myself...

Unique is an overused word, but I'm using it anyway - there are flavor components of this wine that I haven't tasted in any other 2008 Oregon Pinot. Fascinatingly complex, it's almost as if the wine was "aromatized" - the botanicals that are interwoven from nose to finish flipped my lid.

Juicy black cherry and raspberry provide the fruit center, with a sweet-bitter interplay that adds a perfect tension. Expect this to age extraordinarily well, with spot-on balance and alcohol at 12.8%. One of the last 2008 new releases was entirely worth the wait - Johan Three Barrel 08 is one of my top 10 2008 Oregon Pinots.

As you've likely guessed, the "Three Barrel" aspect of the name refers to the production level - only 72 cases were made. If you collect Oregon Pinot, you need this wine. Give it the right amount of time and I bet you'll say the same thing I did...

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