Nice to see the 98 block of Summa return to the lineup. After not being happy with the 2009 version, we spent most of the off season trying to figure out what we could do to give this wine a bit more dimension. After a lot of tasting, the one current unexplored input became obvious, stems. The vintage and its long hang time certainly allowed for the possibility. Not knowing quite what to expect, we settled on 10% as our trial number and couldn't be happier with the results. For us, the wine always lacked an extra degree of breadth at bottling. The stems seem to have filled the wine out a bit giving it more intellectual interest and also helping to firm the wine up a bit. The added structure carries the finish a bit further than normal and makes for a fresher seeming wine. It cuts into the initial sappiness we look for in the mid-palate but with time in the decanter, the classic Summa texture works its way to the forefront.
"The 2010 Pinot Noir Summa Vineyard is the first wine Brown made with whole clusters, 10% in this vintage. Plums, cherries, mint, tobacco and incense waft from the glass from this attractive, mid-weight Pinot. A finessed, supple finish leaves a lasting impression. It will be interesting to watch this wine evolve, and specifically to see if the use of whole clusters is an experiment or if it becomes a staple of the approach here. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2020. "
The Wine Advocate
"A ripe and moderately pitched nose of dark berry fruit, plum, dried flowers and spice nuances leads to rich, delicious and round medium-bodied flavors that possess fine depth on the succulent but focused and mouth coating finish. There is good mid-palate concentration and ample amounts of dry extract that imparts a real sense of volume to the backend. While there is already very solid complexity it seems reasonably clear that there is much more to come and though this presently suave and seductively textured effort could be drunk now with pleasure, I would advise cellaring it for at least 5 to 7 years first."