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WINE REVIEW: The Prisoner 2018 ‘Eternally Silenced’, Pinot Noir, CA ($50)

by Andrew Chalk


The crown in the ‘Prisoner’ line up, a brand created by Dave Phinney in 2000 and now owned by Constellation Brands. This wine is their pinot noir (with 5% syrah). The nose displays layers of forest floor and herbaceous notes, blackberry, and smoke. The color is deep ruby with a translucent core. The mouth is a concentrated series of strata of blackberry fruit, herbaceous organics and velvet tannins.


The appellation ‘California’ has been approbated as a means of cost, and therefore quality production. Since it permits the winemaker tosource grapes from anywhere in the state. In practise that is why it is most usually used. However, there is an elevating rationale for broad sourcing and that is to capture terroir-specific differences in the blend. I would grant The Prisoner that that was the reason here (although he can’t say, as he is eternally silenced). The blend is sourced from 57% Napa Carneros, 17% Edna Valley, 13% Santa Barbara County, 8% Monterey, 5% Sonoma Coast—Russian River.


Delicious quaffed on its own or with pork, veal and pasta in a variety of preparations.

Silly cork alert: This wine has one of those plastic pseudo-wax covers over the top of the bottle. How do you open one of these bottles? See here.


Sample




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