hunterhill.jpgFrom the small Glen Haven estate of Hunter Hill comes this new pinot noir release by winemaker Vann Slatter. And it’s a big bold creation powered by dry-farmed grapes grown high above Soquel.

Hence the intensity of this 13.5 % alcohol wine.

The 2007 Estate Pinot Noir can do anything a syrah can do — it loves lamb. But it also shows its complexity alongside salmon and pasta.

This spicy pinot starts out cleanly with plenty of black cherry and finishes with a long, slow meditation on licorice and sassafras. Along the way we noticed a rhythmic unveiling of fruit and tannins (yes, just like the dance of the seven veils). Two hours after opening, the unmistakable earth flavors of rootbeer chimed in with the licorice.

Wine worth thinking about as you taste. We found it for $24.95 at Shoppers.