Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tasting Notes: Pinot Noirs at JavaMonkey

Note: I had hoped that Hubby would write this one, and that was the original plan, but he's swamped with work right now. He'll be covering the next one for me because I'm out of town this week.

I'm spending the week in Birmingham to help Mom out after yesterday's surgery. Hubby and I were trying to figure out when we were here last, but all we could come up with was sometime last year before September. It's been kind of strange in that everything looks much the same, but older. For example, the theater that was the nice place to see movies when I was in high school is now a dollar theater. How depressing! Have I grown out of this place, or has it grown past me in a different direction? It's impossible to say.

Drinking Pinot Noir can be like visiting a familiar place in that by now, we pretty much know what to expect, but sometimes we do get surprised. This one would've been interesting to do as a blind tasting (just ignore how much I've ranted about blind tastings in the past) with guesses as to where they were from. Here are the wines:

2008 Sherwood Estate Pinot Noir (Marlborough, New Zealand):
Okay, I have expectations for Pinots from France, California, and Oregon, but none for New Zealand. It started "hot," but opened nicely. We got pours from two bottles at the table. One was cranberry-pomegranate, and one tasted more strawberry, which was interesting. It was also "insect-approved," so be sure to keep your glass covered, or the little bugs will dive right in. And they don't spit it out easily.
Rating: Very Good; would've been Excellent at cellar temperature

2007 Lechtaler Pinot Nero (Trentino, Italy):
Another surprising place for Pinots! I'm still debating as to what sounds cooler, Nero or Noir. Berry all the way, nose to finish, with a bit of butter. We deemed this one to be "berry scone in a glass."
Rating: Good

2008 Montinore Estate Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley, Oregon):
Clove on the nose and darker fruit, moving from berry but not quite to cherry yet. Has interesting savory and earthy notes as well, kind of like good cheese. This one is certified biodynamic.
Rating: Good to Very Good

Roncier (Burgundy, France):
When you've been making wine since 1842, you don't need to give much info? Cherry nose, butter balanced with fruit. Hubby noted, "Mais oui!"
Rating: Very Good

2008 Mark West Pinot Noir (California):
This one is a good, basic Pinot for beginner oenophiles. We brought it to a party last month, and it went over really well. It's kind of meaty for a Pinot with nice fruit in the middle and a hint of licorice at the end.
Rating: Good to Very Good

2008 Lange Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley, Oregon):
Earthy nose, full and fruity with good acidity. Lange is always a good bet for Pinots.
Rating: Very Good


mariblaser said...

Hmm, you got my mouth watering Cecilia, especially about the Pinot from New Zealand. I've heard its wines are improving greatly in quality.

Thanks for the post! Feels like you wrote it for me, heh. ;)

Kevin said...

I think the value Pinot Noirs from New Zealand are really getting better. Look for Wild Rock Cupid's Arrow and Russian Jack for two I've had that were tasty.

I'm not a big fan of the Mark West, but it has its place in the world. It would be fun to do a $15 and under Pinot tasting blind to see how it and others would fare.

I always liked Montinore in the past, but it has been a couple of vintages since I last tasted it. Good to hear it is still a tasty drop.

If you want a real surprise in Pinot Noir from Italy, look for Feudo Arancio from Sicily. It is definitely on the earthier side, but has a nice sour cherry thing to keep it food friendly.

mariblaser said...

Hmm, Feudo Arancio? Thanks for the extra tip Kevin! :)