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2012 Banshee "Marine Layer" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

SKU #1156978 96 points Wine & Spirits

Outer quote mark For the 2012 vintage, Banshee founders Noah Dorrance, Baron Ziegler and Steve Graf brought on Sonoma Coast veteran Ross Cobb to consult on the wines; they made them at Hirsch, where Cobb now works. The wines turned out to be some of their best yet. This comes from a number of noteworthy vineyards, including Cobb’s own Coastlands, as well as Rice-Spivak, Hellenthal, Emmaline and Jack Hill—a sort of California premier cru blend that captures the regional character of grapes grown amid western Sonoma’s towering coastal redwoods. Like some of Banshee’s other new releases, it’s somewhat reduced right now, though its potential is apparent in an abstract impression of structural grace and mineral tannins. Its scents are evasive, like the smell of fog in a valley of mossy conifers, a direct and transparent distillation of the Northern California coast. With two days of air it unfurls more completely, a saturated yet weightless impression of dark red fruit filling all the wine’s gaps, though the overall impression remains one of stones and moss rather than berries. Discreet and cool, it needs a few more years of age to show its best. Inner quote mark (4/2015)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

Outer quote mark Vivid red. High-pitched red berry and floral scents are complicated by underbrush, rose oil and star anise. Juicy, penetrating and pure, with bright lift and cut to its red berry and bitter cherry flavors. Takes a slightly darker turn on the finish, which features slow-building tannins and lingering smoke and cherry pit qualities. This youthful Pinot benefits significantly from aeration. Inner quote mark (6/2014)

K&L Notes

In 2012, the Banshees began making their wine at Hirsch. Vintage notes from the winery: "Continuing with our focus of producing wines of elegance, cut, and verve, the 2012 Marine Layer is a study in precision. A perfumy nose of strawberry and geranium gives way to high-toned flavors of cranberry, rhubarb, and a piney forest floor quality. The finish exudes distinct savory and saline qualities. If drinking upon release, a 60 minutes decant is recommended. It is a finely balanced wine that will age effortlessly for 10 years or more."

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Price: $44.99
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By: Jim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/14/2015 | Send Email
The Marine Layer bottling from Banshee is made up of a blend of "lighter, ethereal" barrels of single vineyards around greater Sonoma. The nose is full of fresh picked red berries with light spice and wet stone qualities. The palate continues with pretty red cherry and cranberry fruit, with earthen minerality and salinity. As mentioned, this Pinot really opens up with a decant and will reward cellar time!

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/19/2015 | Send Email
Marine layer, a blend of single vineyard sites on the Sonoma Coast, is showing wonderfully right now: juicy, pure red fruits and mixed berry flavors are structured and fresh, but surprisingly generous as well. So much to like here....

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