Over the arc of the fourteen vintages we have made the Scallop Shelf Pinot Noir the winemaking has remained almost identical but the character of the wine has slightly changed. The bright, energetic nose and brisk acidity remain. The elegant profile that commands a second taste, and a third, persists. The main difference is in the nature of the fruit expression and the savory finish. The raspberry and jasmine qualities in the aroma have evolved and become more nuanced and multi-faceted adding in some brass and turned earth notes. The acidity keeps the wine focused on the mid-palate as usual but the dried pine needle and forest floor quality often found in Pomarium has crept under the Scallop Shelf tent and adds ballast to a lifted wine. It is not so easy to peg this as the lighter or brighter wine any more. I used to be a Scallop Shelf guy as many of you likely were but over the years the other two estate cuvees have become so interesting that from vintage to vintage and occasion to occasion I drift among the three. Yet, there is something about the Scallop Shelf Pinot Noir. When I have an important bottle request from someone I want to be sure to impress, I grab a bottle of Scallop Shelf. Not every time, but often. I have confidence in its complexity, in its individuality. Not different to be different ignoring pleasure, but different in a compelling way. Kind of how I like my people, too. This wine has a life ahead of it. Enjoy it now for all that is obviously going on and keep trying it over the years to see what has changed.
Another gorgeous wine in this range, the 2018 Pinot Noir Estate Scallop Shelf is laced with pretty floral and mineral notes that work nicely with the wine’s taut, mid-weight frame. Bright, focused and wonderfully nuanced, the 2018 has so much to offer. I very much like the wine’s sense of energy, but it needs time to be at its best. 95 Point – Antonio Galloni