2012 Harrington Pinot Noir Wiley Vineyard, Anderson Valley CA

2012 Harrington Pinot Noir Wiley Vineyard, Anderson Valley, CA
$7.99 @ Lebanon, OR  Sept. 29th 2014
Produced and bottled by: Harrington Wines

Harrington[1]The wine poured clear, a very dark burgundy color; darker again than the Pinot Noir I’m used to. I had only poured a little bit before I noticed large pieces of sediment in the glass.  This surprised me in a 2012 so I stopped pouring, cleaned the glass and put the Nuance Wine Finer in the bottle.  The rest of the wine poured without sediment, using the Nuance.

The fragrance was pleasant, very sweet on the nose.  I detected dark fruit and a bit of a coniferous forest scent.  Unfortunately, that’s where things stopped being pleasant.  As with the Terrane Pinot Noir 2011 (from the same producer & vineyard) that I previously reviewed, this wine had spritz.  Nowhere near as marked (in that this wine visually was not clouded by the bubbles) but there was significant effervescence in the taste. The initial sip gave off flavors of black raspberry, black currant and acacia…but it was so fleeting before it moved to a fizzy cola taste that we found it undrinkable.

If this fizz is a result of a stylistic approach to wine and not a flaw (since this is a completely different vintage and wine line from the Terrane) it is not at all to my taste.  I lean toward it being flawed though; in my estimation.  The taste went from heavily sweet to tart verging on sour just in the time that the wine moved over the tongue.  Overall, I’m sorry to say, it was disappointing. I wanted to like this wine.  I love the area.  I usually very much like the wines from that region.

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20 thoughts on “2012 Harrington Pinot Noir Wiley Vineyard, Anderson Valley CA

  1. buddybaker23

    I bought this wine for a store I work at (wine buyer) in the central coast. Certain batches of the 2012 PN were good, the latter bottling of it were what you guys have found at GO. The winemaker dumped a huge batch of this due to a Brett infection so they took it off the retail market (and I guess sent it to the GO circuit)

    Reply
    1. permiesworld Post author

      Hello and welcome, buddybaker23. Thank you for your input on this wine. If the winemaker did deliberately “dump” this on bargain retail, I have to admit that it gives me pause about purchasing from this winemaker again. I don’t particularly respect that sort of business practice, however good the non-Brett infected wine might be. But that’s just me. It’s a consumer trust issue.

      Reply
  2. Looopy

    I found the effervescence went away after opening. But I did not find it unpleasant,nor reminiscent of cola. I really enjoyed this Santa Cruz 2012 Pinot noir from Harrington (noted a bit of effervescence with it as well) so I went back and snapped up everything I could at the Tannesbourne, Oregon GO. I also found a 2011 Tennat. Had to grab that too, since I was so impressed with this winemaker. has anyone else tried this one? I haven’t opened it yet. This was $6.99 as opposed to $7.99 for either of the Pinots from Harrington. And I’m wondering what the “sold elsewhere” price was…forgot to note that when I was at the store.

    Reply
    1. permiesworld Post author

      Thanks for weighing in, Looopy. I don’t remember what the original price was supposed to be.

      I guess I just cannot get onboard with effervescence in PN. Plus, it really just wasn’t my style, tastewise. I am glad that you enjoyed the wine though and were able to buy more.

      Reply
      1. jwc

        Sounds like Loopy cleaned out the SC Mts Pinot Noir vs the Anderson Valley bottling. I too saw the Harrington Tannat at $7, believe the retail on that is $25. I’m still waiting on the Marichal Tannat from Uruguay so will look for your review Loopy. I too enjoyed the Santa Cruz Pinot from Harrington after some air and time. Still looking for the Panther Creek PN, checked the cellar and do have some of the ’10 vintage, so hoping to see the ’08 or ’09.

        Reply
        1. permiesworld Post author

          I think you’re right JWC. I didn’t catch that.

          I would still like to try that Uruguayan wine as well. No sign of it here. Nor the Panther Creek. Not yet anyway.

          Reply
  3. Ashlander

    I opened this early Fri morning, hoping that some air would soften it up. By Fri evening, I felt it was fairly decent. There was about a glass left that I am drinking right now, and I would say that it has held up fairly well even though I closed it with a regular cork. I can still taste a bit of the effervescence that Permie mentions although in my opinion the wine is still drinkable.

    Reply
      1. Seedboy

        Has anyone tried an aggressive decant (glug glug into the decanter) to try to accelerate the de-fizzing of this wine/

        Reply
  4. jwc

    Very thorough notes PW, bummer to hear. I was looking forward to trying the Anderson Valley wine since I enjoyed the Santa Cruz Mts. Coastal Grade PN from this producer. Plus SB had mentioned this producer was legit, as did the Prince of Pinot, both of whom opinions I respect. Does sound like some bad wine that the producer dumped as SB mentioned in one of his posts. Seems like a bizare business decision, unless you are cash strapped, where desparate times call for desparate actions. Think I’ll pop the cork on the Anderson Valley wine with the neighbors, watch the Duck game tonight, hoping for the best.

    Reply
    1. permiesworld Post author

      You know, JWC, it is hard for me to understand too but the producer does seem to be very reputable. You just have to wonder what happened to these? (They were purchased from two different GO’s so I doubt it was a storage issue.) It seems like a production issue. Anyway, I don’t know. I completely wasn’t expecting the “spritz” in this second wine and it was SB’s enthusiasm for this producer that caused me to purchase another bottle (of the different line/vintage). I honestly don’t know what to say. I truly hoped for one of those “you have to buy more of this” experiences.

      I’ll be interested in your thoughts.

      Reply
      1. seedboy

        Sorry about the bad luck folks are having with these wines. Harrington used to make wine pretty close to my house so I’ve tasted his wines and talked with him a number of times. I suspect that these are the results of not filtering or fining, and something nasty getting into and staying in the wines.

        Reply
        1. permiesworld Post author

          Oh hey, Seedboy. Nobody blames you. I’ve had something similar happen before. Absolutely loved a wine from a particular place and then recommended it, only to find out that the one my friend bought from a different vintage wasn’t at all as good. It happens. Again, I’ve really enjoyed wines from this region and had every expectation of enjoying it. I agree, with your summation though…something happened to these. Next time we go to Mendocino, I’m going to check out this place…see if they have a tasting room etc. and do a little further exploring.

          Reply
          1. seedboy

            He makes his wine in San Francisco. He does not have a “tasting room”, I do get occasional invitations to a party, though.

            Reply
    1. permiesworld Post author

      It does sound a lot like that BW. And it’s quite a surprise to the palette, that’s for sure. Not a very enjoyable experience. Especially when you are hoping for a decent wine to enjoy the evening. But it was a good learning tool. In that respect. It didn’t cost very much and either wine was a very good example of that flaw.

      Reply
  5. permiesworld Post author

    Thanks EHL. I was disappointed but solely because I really do enjoy the Pinot Noir from that region. I just had high hopes I guess. We did have a nice one last night from GO (Remarkable Lot 11) though.

    And thank you, re: the photography. I don’t know how long you’ve been photographing, but if you have the bug, you know what I mean when I say I’ve always felt like it was something I was born to do. I enjoy it very much.

    Reply
  6. EHL

    Sorry you have run into two disappointingly bad ones in a row, PW……..sounds like this last one was corked……

    If it’s any consolation, I was very impressed with your photos from your link……….as an avid photographer, I can appreciate excellent composition and fine timing, especially in capturing those compelling action shots!

    Reply

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