Damiani Wine Cellars2005 Pinot Noir
On a recent visit to the Finger Lakes region, the same question asked at several wineries was met with the same response. Q: Who is setting the standard for red wines in the region? A: Lou Damiani.
Lou and business partner, Phil Davis, have a combined 22 acres of vineyards planted on the slopes at the south eastern end of Seneca Lake – an area that the locals refer to as the “Banana Belt” because of a distinctly warmer climate, which gives it a special proclivity for red varieties. Phil manages the vineyards with an intuitive sensitivity for ecological balance, noting that green herbaceous characteristics are not necessarily typical of the region – not if yields are properly restricted (he keeps most of his crops between 1.5 to 1.75 tons per acre).
It is commonly accepted that the 2005 vintage yielded atypically concentrated wines in the region, but even Damiani’s 2004s and 2006s (from barrel) displayed deep color and concentrated flavors – a credit to Phil Davis’ conscientious management of the vineyards.
The 2005 Pinot has a slightly closed nose, but dark cherry, plum, licorice and bittersweet chocolate aromas work their way forward with a bit of time and exposure to air. The texture is rather earthy with assertive grape tannins gripping at your tongue, shrouding the fruit on the palate. This is a big wine that needs some cellar time to allow its tannic guard to settle back and permit its true character and stuffing to shine through. I do see this Pinot hitting its stride in 3-5 years, rewarding generously those patient enough to wait.
Reviewed June 4, 2007 by Adam Dial.
Brought up in a family with winery ventures in both California and Canada, Adam Dial seeks and appreciates diversity and individuality in wines. He is a Sommelier with more than two decades of experience in the hospitality and service industry, and is a respected wine educator, judge and industry advisor. In 2003 Adam Dial co-founded Appellation America.