Argot “Bastard Tongue” Pinot Noir 2019

Sonoma County
$89 (Wine Club Reorder Price: $80)

Born in Chicago to a large Irish family, wine did not play a role in winemaker Justin Harmon’s life growing up. The industrial beers of the midwest were his drink of choice for family parties, and milk was best for the dinner table. His love of wine came from a series of experiences, places visited, bottles opened and friendships forged.

Although he has a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, Justin’s curiosity about wine inspired him to study enology textbooks published by UC Davis while making wine in his basement. The chance opportunity to be involved with California’s 2005 harvest, for a single day’s work, provided his first look behind the curtain. The following year brought him back to California to participate in Sonoma County’s 2006 harvest as a full-fledged cellar hand at Vinify, run by former Bacchus & Venus wine superstar, Matt Duffy. A second turn as cellar hand, during 2007’s harvest, afforded an opportunity to ferment and raise a single ton of Syrah grapes upon which Argot (ärgō: a shared language, borne from intimacy, associated with tight-knit groups brought together by a common interest) was founded.

I get asked all the time what my favorite wine is, and while that is an impossible question to answer, it might be the Bastard Tongue Pinot. It is a huge Pinot, what I’ve coined as a “Cabernet drinker’s Pinot” and it is so dang silky smooth I wish I could drink it every night – and I would if Justin only made more of it! This wine sells out swiftly each year because of its limited production and high demand.

“Pouring a deep-hued magenta, 2019’s BT is nothing short of full-tilt-boogie Pinot Noir. From the jump, a heady swirl of ripe raspberries and succulent blackberries explode from the glass. Textures caress the palate with other-worldly talent as the wine unfurls in a tsunami of red and black fruits, all while accompanied by the hallmark notes Bastard Tongue lovers have come to appreciate and expect — white flowers, forest floor, conifer tree, allspice and that tell-tale Oriental plum sauce. A wine of unbridled intensity and power, seamless textures and an unerring purity. A pinnacle Bastard Tongue that is the culmination of nearly a decade of producing this cuvée.” – Justin Harmon

Taylor Morgan – November 2021

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