[bill easton]Easton 2008 Pinot Noir Duarte-Georgetown (Sierra Foothills) – 14.2%. Despite positive verbiage on the label and the accompanying tech sheet (this is a free sample from the winemaker), I’m dubious. OK, pinot noir may have a history in the Sierras, but I suspect there must be a reason it doesn’t have a present. Certainly it would be an easier sell than the ubiquitous syrah, wouldn’t it? Well, anyway, first impressions don’t challenge my predispositions, with a vinyl, overworked quality to the sappy red fruit. There’s acid, and there’s minerality, but neither one works pleasantly towards a pleasant wholeness. So I leave the bottle alone for a while. One day becomes two, and two become three, and then I revisit. At which point I’m forced to walk back some of my criticisms, because the plastic element has disappeared, the structure has integrated, and the fruit is far more appealing than it was on the first day. There’s still minerality, and now there’s balance, and so now one wonders if there might be ageability. Is it a great pinot? No. Neither the Russian River Valley, nor the Central Coast, need quake in their boots (I’m not sure the Anderson Valley, for all its qualities, can quite afford boots yet). But it’s interesting, it’s markedly different, it’s from a trustworthy producer, and…well, who really knows? Worth a revisit, but mind the pop-and-pour mentality, because it doesn’t work here. (2/10)

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