While researching Hilliard Bruce for my “Punch-Down” column for the August issue of The SOMM Journal, in which I interview John and Christine, the owners and winemakers, I was struck with an idea after reading Josh Raynolds tasting notes on their wines. Raynolds, writing for Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, gives such divine tasting notes I found myself imagining them as descriptions of characters in a noir film or stage production.
I’ve re-posted one tasting note before and then quite after my “theatrical” treatment.
2011 Hilliard Bruce Vineyards Pinot Noir Sun Sta. Rita Hills
Vivid red. Assertive aromas of raspberry, cherry-cola and candied flowers, with Asian spice and woodsmoke accents building with air. Juicy and precise on the palate, offering alluringly sweet, concentrated red fruit liqueur flavors and a hint of musky rhubarb. Shows very impressive verve and clarity on a long finish sparked by a zesty blood orange note. 93
Daisy Buchannan, a girl in her late 20s
A vivid red-head. She’s assertive and smells likes sweet aromas of raspberry perfume. Daisy drinks cherry-cola and snacks on candied flowers. She likes a little Asian spice in her sticky rice. Her apartment wafts of woodsmoke, and elegant accents mark the building’s facade, and the halls are perfumed with strawberry air forever. “Juicy” is the name of her dog, a pug, and he plants precise licks on her cheeks. Never one to turn down a salty Auntie Anne’s Pretzel, she’ll savor one on the palate, until the dough disintegrates, offering alluringly sweet, concentrated pretzel flavors, like how you might imagine a red fruit liqueur to taste if the flavors were to melt into the ice of your drink, muddled by tears and a hint of musky rhubarb–the way Tom smells after a horse-ride through fields of…rhubarb. Daisy shows well at parties and offers a very impressive verve and clarity of wit, while she rides on the coattails of a long song and will only agree to finish if her drink is sparked by a zesty blood orange soprano note. In 93 years, she’ll be dead and gone.