By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/23/2016 | Send Email
Anyone that knows the staff at K&L is fully aware of our love affair with the wines of Joseph Swan. The classically styled wines are full of honest flavors, vibrant acid and have proven time and time again that they develop wonderfully in the cellar. Not to mention Rod and Lynn Berglund are two of the sweetest people you'll ever meet. If you haven't been to their incredibly modest tasting room, where the wines are the centerpiece, it is a must the next time you are in the Russian River Valley. If you visit there, or have in the past, the vines around the winery are part of the Trenton Estate block which makes one of the best Pinots in the Russian River Valley if not all of California.
The 2012 is outrageously great. In fact I want to use every superlative I can think of for just how good, and how special, this wine is but that would just be superfluous, so I’ll give you the details instead. This is about the intensity and power of the vines that Joe Swan himself planted back in the late 60’s and not much else, not about oak, not about Rod’s winemaking ego, not about points, just those incredibly special and historic vines. One of the signs of a great pinot to me is that it has power, complexity, drive and structure all while having little heft. This wine is a perfect example of that. Oolong tea, pomegranate, blood orange, wet clay and crushed rock aromas are just now starting to come out of this as it is still a baby in its development. For how light and transparent this wine is it certainly packs a wallop of powerful, concentrated red fruits, exotic spice, Sevilla oranges, cranberry and clove on the palate. Tangy and full of zing on the finish this wine is anything but shy at this point but you can’t help the feeling that so much more is coming down the road. Lay this one down for a while or break it out for special occasions, or special recipes, with a long gentle decant. It will be the star of the show.