Aerate aerate aerate. My initial thoughts - and dare I say even my thoughts after 90 minutes - of this wine were negative. It hit me as rather harsh and overwhelmingly tart. What happens on day two, a full 24 hours, after opening? This bottle was comped and sells for $22 through the winery. We tasted it as part of the Tweet and Taste, but these notes are based on the next day where things were a bit more sedate and settled.
Day one brought brown spice. Day two brings out a clear raspberry leaf with a touch of mint - almost a raspberry tea.
At first, this was harsh. Now? Rather smooth. At first, overwhelming acid and tartness. Now? Well integrated acid with fruit and earth coming through. Raspberry dominates with a bit of carob. When I say raspberry, I am talking part fruit, part leaf, part root...it's an earthy, funky, dirty raspberry. As in, don't pick the raspberry, pick the entire plant out of the ground and blend it - that's this. I'm not getting a whole lot in terms of tannin, but acid and earth are more than present. Some people on the Tweet and Taste were discussing an "artificial" quality, which I could see at the time, but as it opens, I think it's really more "essence" and "herbal." Have you ever had those Vitamin Waters that have no calories, no fake sugars, and only "essence"? I haven't seen them around lately, but I do recall them fondly - this reminds me of that.
More of that funky/earthy/dirty raspberry on the finish.
Sit on it for a while or give it 4+ hours in the decanter. When it comes together, you may or may not dig it, but you will respect it. $22? I'm not sure, but it is a Pinot Noir...Michigan has a distinct style of Pinot - it's light, funky, acidic, and spicy. I think this is an excellent representation - not for all palates, but for those who dig it, I couldn't imagine not being a fan.
Let me just say something here - Shady Lane's Pinot Noir and Riesling really came together after multiple hours of air. Some wines completely fall apart after three hours of air, these start getting good at that point - it's a testament to the quality. I'm giving this 87, but I have a feeling in 2012 or so, this wine is going to annihilate. It's a shame the Mayans are going to kill us all by then. Speaking of Mayans, have you seen Apocalypto? Holy crap - what a good movie.
Score: 87* *not blind