Drinkin’ Smoke – 2005 Abiouness Pinot Noir

abiounessWhatever characteristics different Pinot Noirs (or would that be Pinots Noir?) may have, there are a couple that I expect no matter what:  Black cherry and smoke.  And this Abiouness delivers to my happy Pinot Noir soul.

I first bought this 2005 Abiouness Pinot Noir Hudson Vineyard at Khoury’s several months ago – nearly a year.  Issa told me that the distributor had a case (or two … can’t recall), said that the winery was closing, and that it was his (the distributor’s) job to dump the wine at a clearance price.  Well, I hadn’t heard of the label before, so I bought three bottles on the spot.

What a mistake!  I should have purchased all that he had!  The first bottle was eye-opening because I was drinking a quality Pinot Noir that hadn’t required a Williams Selyem-level investment.  It was rich and earthy, almost Oregonian in nature but with more structure and fruit.

I opened another bottle about two months later (someone else had come in and wiped out Khoury’s entire inventory so I was stingy with my remaining bottles), and the experience was the same.

Well, the last bottle made me weep (not literally, but it sounds good and literary).

The characteristics I found in the first bottle doubled in this one.  Rich, sparkling garnet in the glass, it exploded with black cherries, smoke, earth, and dark fruit on the nose. The texture was a mouth delight – as rich and as silky as you’d expect from a quality Pinot Noir.  The front end showcased the fruit, with mineral earthiness and smoke making a long and delightful finish.

The first two bottles were great, don’t get me wrong.  This one (time to rest? bottle variation? planet alignment? full moon? sun spots?) was absolutely outstanding, and I stretched that bottle out over two nights.  It lost almost nothing the second evening.

I wish I could tell you to go out and buy all you can! Screw the house payment! Bribe whom you must! Unfortunately, this is not available anywhere, not even on Snooth.

The only regret I have is that I didn’t purchase more … like I need more wine!  But the one varietal I will drink at any time with hardly an excuse, is, of course, Pinot Noir.  And this Abiouness – although it may have taken a few years to get there – really showcased what the varietal is all about.  I enjoyed every drop and feel that it could be a benchmark for what a good, solid Pinot Noir should be.  I would compare it to the equivalent vintages of Kosta Browne and Williams Selyem, although this Abiouness had to age a bit longer before it could belly up to the bar with the big boys.

Oh yes! I don’t want to leave out the most important part of this review. Abiouness Wines is NOT out of business!  Nichole Abiouness contacted me shortly after my first review of this wine last year and was surprised at the story.  After several email conversations with her and a little investigation of my own, it appeared that there was some apparent distributor skulduggery afoot, and both Abiouness and Khoury’s ended up being the fall guys in this one.

And in case you didn’t already guess, this is a George Clooney wine. All the way.

Stay tuned for more!

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