One of the workshops I was able to attend at the Pinot Noir Summit last month was “Discovering New Stars,” relatively-new-to-Pinot-Noir winemakers talking about their process and sharing their juice. Perception was one of the wineries at the workshop, and winemaker Mark Ray regaled us with his tale.
Perception makes a “regular” (for lack of a better term) Pinot Noir, but Mark brought with him the single-vineyard version, and I think it was a good call. This was a very complex Pinot, in my opinion, with lots of edges and angles.
The wine is almost tawny in the glass, a bit brownish, but still red at the core. The nose is rather un-Pinot-ish in my opinion, with less fruit and more earth, mushroom, and forest floor to it.
The wine is light-bodied, relatively speaking, and features some subtle strawberry notes along with a more robust cherry. A little white pepper rounds out a rather interesting Pinot Noir. Lots going on here, and I think it’s the single-vineyard factor that really does it: nothing is “balanced out” after the fact. What grows in that one area is all that goes into the bottle.
Quite good work by Mark Ray and the Perception team.