I have been a Cabernet collector for decades and have recently (within 5 years) acquired the Pinot bug. The '08 Foxen Sea Smoke is of equal or greater quality than an aged 1997 Napa cab! Both are of course silky smooth at this date but something went above and beyond with the Foxen Sea Smoke. Yes, I agree to all critics, that this is not a fair comparisson and so here it will end...but, the weight and balance are similar.
The Foxen Sea Smoke '08 is one of the most blissful experiences I've had with wine. From the first glimpse of the aroma, it is clear that there is something special about this wine. There are familiar and unfamiliar aromas blending. First, the unfamiliar...some may call it barnyard or rotten tree bark or whatever "unusual" term they can assert to this sense of smell. It - to this day - is something I can't identify. But I like it. It is something natural. To me it repressents something the winemaker and vineyard understood during its creation. Then there are the familiar aromas - those that grow, blend, co-mingle and cocoon into other beguiling aromas as it opens. Bark turns into truffles, chocolate covered blueberries turn into mocha expresso beans in cocoa, wet grass turns into lavender!?, and then there's that "ah HA!" I know that smell!!! Only those who have travelled semi regularly along the Santa Rosa Rd. will know it...it is that smell you experience with the windows rolled down...that element that is that valley. It is in the wine. And that smell reminds you of everything you experienced.
Then, the best part - the in the mouth taste. It is indeed a big Pinot, one that requires serious thought and concentration to reap the deepest and most blissful of benefits. It is complex. It consists of everything you experienced nasally but...with food, again it changes. It is multidimensional and multilayerd. With olive oil sauteed Imperial onions, it sweetens the fruit, with filet au poivre, the spice notes are brought forward, and with chocolate ice cream it because decadent but at odds. The clash exposes other elements not noticed...such as bitterness...but not bad bitterness...bitterness like the "Americano" drink the French serve to newly arrived Americans...a drink we surely invented after WWII. It is bittersweet but powerful.
And then there's what remains when it is empty. The lingering finish that to this day, I know. The dream at night of a table covered in Sea Smokes...and an odd sensation that something in life has change and Imust have more.
Absolutely fantastic! If you can't find a Muscat-de-Beaume-de-Venise, this makes a perfect and wonderful substitue. Must get more of this - very nice! Up front Orange aromas followed by sweet mango nectar and citrus. Extremely delightful and went perfectlys with the Danish Blue cheese. Lacked the floral elements of a Beaumes-de-Venise, but that only made it slightly richer. This was a great wine!