Carlton Hill Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir
Scents of forest floor and a wisp of smoke surround the black cherry flavors, all held in suspension by fine cherry-skin tannins. It's built for the long haul, and it will reward tea-smoked duck with wild mushrooms if you open it along the way.
The Wine Advocate: 88 points
The 2007 Pinot Noir Reserve was 20% whole cluster fermented and aged for 11 months in 50% new French oak before racking into neutral barrels for another 5 months. Medium ruby-colored, it displays an enticing bouquet of cigar box, mineral, cinnamon, allspice, and raspberry. Firm on the palate with enough structure to evolve for 1-2 years, this savory Pinot will drink well through 2017.
The Wine Advocate: 91 points
Picked on September 30 and at 14% natural alcohol – before some of the worst of the vintage’s rains – Polite’s Carlton Hill 2007 Pinot Noir Estate can be added to the considerable list of wines from this very difficult and hence much-maligned harvest that nowadays taste terrific. (And bear in mind that this is from very young vines.) Smoky, earthy pungency of peat, humus and burley tobacco mingle with fresh red raspberry, shadowed by framboise distillate. The piquancy of cherry pit and crunch of raspberry seed practically burst with intensity in a juicy and sustained finish, with a saline streak serving to practically light up the salivary glands. I can’t imagine this failing to impress through at least 2015.