2013 Aquinas Pinot Noir, Sonoma - Napa, Wine Review 95 Points!

Pinot Noir this impressive is beyond rare around $20. Jimm and I (Tasho) were amazed as the 2013 Aquinas Pinot over delivered with extreme excess making many Pinots at two to three times the price look bad! 

Importantly, it can't be stressed enough that this wine demands 35 minutes of decanting before it will begin delivering its riches. Immediately after pouring the wine into your decanter, please set an alarm for 35 minutes because you won't want to miss any stage of this dynamic wine! At 35+ minutes, this wine remarkably broadens and becomes intensely aromatic. 

The initial slightly darker fruit flavors of black raspberry, plum, and black cherry begin to work themselves into a high-pitched frenzy of bright red-fruit flavors featuring cherry, raspberry, pomegranate, and cranberry skins delivered with a sensational citrus-fruit juiciness that's like Mandarin orange! The incredibly bright acidic energy results in some of the fruit flavors displaying a tartness that interestingly contrasts a slight sappiness similar to that of candied-apple coating (wine is dry). Plus, an incredible array of aromas and nuances make this an absorbing wine. Roasted vanilla, eucalyptus, purple flowers, graphite, spice (distant clove), fine French oak, and a pleasant earthiness are all delivered on the long mouth-watering finish! For those patient enough to allow full development, blueberry flavors further complicate the array of red-fruit flavors after an hour and fifteen minutes or so. 

This wine is the epitome of a holiday-food-friendly wine; however, the wine is so nuanced that it's a shame to introduce the distraction of food flavors. Importantly, because this wine demands 35 minutes of decanting followed by very slow enjoyment over the next 45+ minutes to allow full development, it's best enjoyed alone or with one friend. If you taste with four, get a couple of bottles and decant them simultaneously in a large decanter.

Because this wine retails for just $21, I was skeptical of Wine Review's 95 point review. However, this dominant Pinot delivers a spectacular parade of flavors with remarkable energy, a silky mouthfeel, and a long elegant finish that has me on board! I would love to see this Pinot in a blind tasting against this year's very best $50+ Pinots.

- Tasho Katsaboulas