Inman Family Wines 2012 Pinot Noir
Tucked away off of Olivet Road, Inman Family Wines was founded on the idea of making hella natural, sustainable pinot noirs, wines that are simple and pure enough that the Sonoma terroir and the fresh winemaking style are able to shine. As a natural product of the earth, wine can be manipulated into almost anything, or it can be simple, unadulterated, an integral part of its ecosystem. At Inman, the entire winery is a manifestation of the winemaker’s low-impact vision, from the sustainable farming methods, to the solar energy program, to the electric car charging station.
This 2012 Pinot Noir is a hella great example of how Kathleen’s super natural approach makes stunning, simple wines. In the glass, the wine is a bright garnet red, crystal clear all the way through, with a perfectly clear meniscus. The texture is light and silky, on the palate bright red cherry, cola, a bit of dry earth appear, with tart raspberry on the finish. The grapes are harvested early to minimize sugar levels in the grapes, keeping alcohol levels down. This low-alcohol method makes the use of strong oak totally unnecessary, creating a wine that is so much more refreshing and crisp than most California reds. I like the stronger acidity and the clean aftertaste. I think it’s the lighter finish that suggests that this is a food wine, which is how the winery markets it.
It doesn’t have a lot of the heavy oaky tannic notes that generally indicate that a wine is built with future structure in mind, but what’s not to love about a light red wine that is hella crisp and lovely and meant for drinking now? This would be a great summer red, and would be nice to drink with lighter hot-weather food. And it was definitely different, but very enjoyable after a 1993 cab sauv we recently had, as much for the contrast between the two as for the similarities. Highly recommended for beautiful fresh, young wines.90/100
The Hella 5 Star System
We have adopted the opinion that fine art, music, wine, cigars, and other comestibles are governed by a unifying principle, which is that the intention of the artist matters. Art can be judged by the patron only as it pertains to the emotive and inductive properties of that art. We think Winemakers and Torcedors are artists.
Here at Hella Wine, we cut our wine-rating teeth on the wildly popular wine app Vivino. Vivino has an integrated five-star system for rating wine, but no standardized rubric to go with it, so we had to define what the star ratings actually mean, and we did so in a very personal way. This system takes into account: price, aesthetics, situational variables, relationships, and any other completely biased information we can come up with. This makes our system predictably emotional, and ratings change from glass to glass, even possibly from the same bottle.
Without further ado, our 5 star rating system revealed
I wont drink/smoke this even if you buy it!
I would drink a glass of this or smoke 1 if you bought it, but I would not order this for myself.
I would buy a glass/one cigar and enjoy it.
I would buy a bottle/5pack of this and really enjoy it.
I'd buy a case/box of this because I just love it.
The Hella 50 to 100 System
We also will usually apply the commonly used 50-100 point scale to our ratings. This tasting format, familiar from the annals of the indelible Robert Parker and Wine Spectator Magazine, does not take price or my ability to afford the wine in question into account. The situation that the drink or cigar was tasted in does not matter. This scale only reflects the quality of the wine/cigar in relation to other wines/cigars we have tasted.
You may loosely infer from this rating:
96-100: A hella amazing wine/cigar of super bold complex character displaying the attributes we hella want to find in the best wines in the world. Wines like this are hella awesome.
90 - 95: An amazing wine/cigar with hella character. Wonderful stuff, we feel lucky to try these.
80 - 89: A hella good wine/cigar, no noticeable flaws but it's just good/okay.
70 - 79: Hella basic, not so memorable wine/cigar. It's good, but just missing that something that makes it hella good, or even special.
60 - 69: Something bad happened in this wine/cigars life. Maybe it got left in a car and cooked, or maybe it sucked to begin with. All we know is we hella don't really want to finish it. Sometimes you gotta take one for the team.
50 - 59: This wine/cigar hella sucks.