Tasting Note                         

86    2001 Sebastiani Sonoma Coast P.N.     8/17/03 ($14)

Color: Pretty burgundy with just a touch of purple (3.0) Bouquet: Cherry and plum fruit with butterscotch from oak. (2.5) Body: Good fruit to acid balance with smooth oak, although a bit too much for me. (3.0) Flavor: Smooth and rich, but the butterscotch starts to overwhelm the fruit. (2.5) Finish: Get smooth, clean PN fruit at first, but is soon overpowered by bitterness from oak. (2.0)
Overall: If a wine like ’95 Estancia Meritage shows the magic (all good) of the California style, this wine shows some of the sorcery (good and bad). The PN fruit being the good and the butterscotch-oak being the bad. It gets in the way of the fruit and makes this red resemble a “buttery” Chardonnay. I’m not against oak, particularly in reds, but pumping up the oak to make a wine more full and tasty upon release, resulting in a turn to bitterness as it gains some bottle age does not make sense if you’re trying to please consumers. I guess it makes sense if you’re trying to please the wine mags. Nonetheless this wine is still enjoyable and worth $14, particularly for a PN. (13.0)