Tried the Pinot w/ Casey Fri night, w/ very low expectations:
1. KentRasmussenWnry PinotNoir Carneros (13%; kentrasmussenwinery.com/) Napa 1988: Dark color w/ some murky browning; strong smokey/rather Burgundian/mature PN/pencilly quite complex not at all tired nose; lightly tart pencilly/cedary/rather Burgundian fully mature PN some toasty/smokey/Fr.oak graceful/elegant slight metallic/aged gentle/smooth rather complex/Burgundian flavor w/ light gentle bit drying tannins; very long/lingering smoth/elegant/graceful quite Burgundian smokey/Fr.oak slight cherry/PN complex finish w/ light gentle tannins; not at all tired or dried out but a quite lovely fully mature quite Burgundian PN that is just quietly fading into the sunset. $20.30 (K)
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More Rasswirdle from TheBloodyPulpit:
1. I had expected this Pinot to be totally dead. It was not. Just a little old lady in her dottage that is in the twlight of her yrs & quietly fading into the sunset. Both Casey & I were amazed that it still offered up some pleasure.
Kent started his wnry in 1986, making Chard & Pinot from his Estate vnyd deep into the Carneros in a tiny garage wnry on the property. When I did a visit w/ Kent, I took an instant liking to him. A sort of smallish man, he was wearing these bib overalls. He looked exactly like a little leprachaun that you could picture out in vnyd, leaning up against a vine, pipe in his mouth, smoking some of that funny stuff that winemakers smoke. We have had occasional interactions over the yrs. He now lives full time down in Berkeley.
I have, of course, followed Kent from the very start. Fell in love w/ his early wines and did a visit w/ him at his family vnyd deep into the Carneros, when his tiny wnry was located there. He specialized in Pinot & Chard grown on the Estate.
The early Rasmussen wines tended to be made in a reductive fashion and I started to coin the term the "Rasmussen stench". But they always aged out of it and became beautiful wines.
Kent reminds me a lot of AdamTolmach. Neither are what you would call marketing geniuses. In fact, "anti-marketers" would be more accurate. Which is why his wines are not easy to find. He has no marketing program and I buy them only when I happen to stumble upon them on a retail shelf.
He also makes wine, from purchased grapes, under the Ramsay label, named after his wife, Celia Ramsay, a very highly regarded folk muscician in the EastBay area. And a tiny amount of wine under his Esoterica label, which I gather is no longer being made.
Great wines, great people...they should be better known.
Tom