Thursday, September 10, 2015

Wine Review: Gypsy Canyon "Ground Boots" 2012 Pinot Noir

Gyspy Canyon "Ground Roots" 2012 Pinot Noir

Originally I was supposed to use this bottle to participate in a live tasting on Twitter with other wine bloggers and tweeters as we tasted the wine, made comments, and tried to put up with my crap. But I had to put the package on hold at FedEx, and for some reason I got the date (August 19th) mixed up with something else I had to do (September 1st) and couldn't pick up the bottle until the day after the tasting. I never remembered what that other thing was on September 1st. But that's okay because, whatever it was, watching the season premiere of Hotel Impossible was more important. And the missed live tasting turned out okay because I made some extra money that night instead, and here I am using the bottle to write a review!

The site of Gypsy Canyon Winery in Santa Barbara was where Dona Marcelina Felix Dominguez, the first female winegrower in California, planted her Mission grapes back in 1880. Bill and Deborah Hall bought the land in 1994 and found that some of those vines had survived and were hiding under sage bushes. They actually use those low-yielding Mission grapes to make Angelica, a dessert wine made by the Spanish way back in the day from the Mission grape. There's something cool about drinking history like that.

Gypsy's Canyon's Ground Boots label is cool for another reason. All of the profits go to a foundation based in Thailand called Soi Dog. They focus on rescuing dogs and ending the illegal dog meat trade in South Asia. As a human that has much appreciation for our canine companions, I can totally get behind that. Ground Boots Pinot Noir isn't cheap though. One bottle will cost you $70 but buying just one bottle will save three dogs. That's priceless.

My bottle was signed by Deborah Hall herself. The label is pretty awesome and totally original. It features a painting of a dog and a cat in people clothes and was made by American artist Ronald Roller Wilson. The dog kind of creeps me out. Actually, they both look like they've been doing a bit of cocaine. Bad doggy. Bad kitty. Next time you share with daddy.

Gyspy Canyon "Ground Boots" 2012 Pinot NoirThe color of the wine is grenadine red and brilliant in clarity. Aromas of cranberries and dark cherries are up front on the nose, backed up with leather and cedar.

There's some dirt to the palate, which I'm a huge fan of, and some chocolate but it's got plenty of fruit to it as well. Those cranberry and dark cherry aromas are back for the flavor. It finishes with cranberry sauce, a silky coating on the teeth, and a little hit of tannin on the tongue. But the real star is how much the quality shines in the midpalate mouthfeel. Lush, silky, bold and just so balanced.

The night of that live tasting on Twitter, after I got home from cleaning redemption machines for some extra cash, I went back into the #GroundBoots hashtag to see how it went. There was one word that kept being brought up by my peers: structure. And boy were they right.

As I said in my review of Maison Roche de Bellene Bourgogne Vieilles Vignes 2011, Pinot Noir is a hit or complete miss for me. I feel like I'm not as impressed with it as often as I should be. There's usually too much of something that's not backed up by something else. Too much acidity, or too much brett, or it's too thin, or too much copper, or whatever that isn't balanced out. This baby, on the other hand, has solid Pinot Noir characteristics with great structure. The acidity is indeed high, as it should be, but it's supported by everything else. BALANCE.

This is a beautiful Pinot Noir with a beautiful cause. It's waaaaaay above my price range, even for special occasions, but if I had $70 to drop on a bottle of wine I'd consider this as exceeding the quality for the money spent.

Price: $70
Rating: 5/5 = Recommended. (what does that mean?)


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