There’s a thread that runs though the 2016 Cartograph Pinots: a quirky, wonderful energy that bubbles just below the surface. Perli has been our benchmark Pinot from Mendocino Ridge since 2009. The wine has a pretty rose-petal scent with a contrasting leather note … but the first thing I wrote down, and the thing that always comes to mind first when I sniff, is “twiggy.” Not fresh-cut wood, not forest floor, but the smell of those little brown twigs you snip from your Japanese maple as you clean up dead shoots in the spring. The smell of that little oak twig that you picked up on a walk and snapped a piece off. And then you take a sip, and it’s all wonderfully delicate dark fruit. It’s a full palate, but the blackberry, plum and dark-cherry fruit flavors are subtle and light. I hesitate to use the term “lush,” because that often means heavy on the palate — and this is a wine that has a great deal of energy but presents beautifully on the palate.
Cases produced: 117 cases