I’ve had this one before, but a while ago so I thought with some cellaring it would be even better- no surprise. It’s staring to turn a touch garnet but is of pale intensity. The nose is quite pronounced with pomegranate, red cherry, cranberry, barnyard, dried sage and dried red plum. The palate is delicious. Smooth with low tannins, medium acidity , medium body and gobs of flavor. In addition to the red fruits and tertiary notes I also get some rooibos tea. The finish is medium length and chock full of fruit with some super fine tannins. 92 points, drink till 2027. It runs $50 these days which makes it a 4 star wine in my books. Salut….
When pairing Asian food, there are so many variables- spice, complexity and flavor profiles to mention a few. Tonight we are making self-rolled Vietnamese style wraps with choices of ground chicken, thin grilled beef or steamed shrimp to go alongside the myriad of veggies that all get wrapped into a thin rice paper and adorned with sweet or spicy sauces. I figured a lighter wine would carry the freshness of the meal better than a big, tannic monster so Pinot was the obvious choice.
This Oregonian wine is see-through and a nice shade of ruby, perhaps even starting to turn garnet (it is 7 years old by now). The nose has fresh aromas of strawberry, red cherry, cinnamon, cedar and raspberry coulis. On the palate it is spectacular- rich with warm red fruit alongside spicebox, cedar and cinnamon. Gentle acidity, low tannins and a relatively full body make for a great mouthfeel that will pair as hoped. It is drinking beautifully right now and will continue to do so until 2026 at the least. 92 points from me and at $75 per bottle, 4 stars. Salut….
This Pinot is pretty opaque for the varietal. A lovely shade of ruby with watery legs that give clue to the low 13% ABV. On the nose I get spice box, red cherry, pomegranate and cranberry. On the palate this wine is a touch tart and lacks any discernible tannins- not that I am complaining. I like Pinot with a touch of sourness and no dryness, makes for a crisp mouthfeel. The red fruit flavors are quite pronounced and balanced but I also get blueberry on the mid palate. I like the weight but the finish is a touch short. This bottle has what I really like in Pinot Noir- elegance and lightness with freshness and not too much oak influence. It is seductive and lithe, maybe not very complex but it delivers lots of fruit flavors. I would drink this one till 2025, perhaps pairing with Duck or Strip steak. 89 points from me and at $20 it’s a good deal that gets 4 stars. Salut….
This Oregonian Pinot is see-through and medium ruby. The nose is quite intense with red cherry and strawberry. Cloves also come to mind but I can smell a whiff of the 13.5% alcohol. The palate is rounded and gives me ripe, squishy strawberry and some spice box alongside the cherry and now raspberry flavors. The wine is quite acidic and I get fine grained tannins on the mid palate. The red fruit theme continues to a mid length finish where the fruit overtakes any secondary flavors I previously got. It is New World with restraint in style, something I appreciate. The tannins really grip on the back end and the acidity does a nice job of balancing it out. Medium body and generally very pleasant- it gets 90 points from me and at $20 it’s worthy of 5 stars. Yummy stuff to drink till 2026. Salut….
Dark purple and more opaque than I was expecting for this Pinot Noir. The nose has extracted black cherry and spice box, quite interesting. I also get a hint of bergamot and some deft oak notes. On the palate it is very smooth and delicious. Rich cherry, strawberry extract, spices and cedar. The mid palate shows a little bit of sour cherry which leads into an acidic finish that is making my jaw water. I find it difficult to discern tannins in this varietal but I do get a hint of some well integrated ones. The finish is long in length and echoes that Cherry theme from the get-go. The acidity is very much in play on this wine keeping it fresh and delicious. I’m going with 91 points, with a drink-by 2027 window. For $60, it’s a bit pricy and gets 3 stars from me. Salut….
See-through and pale purple, this Pinot has a touch of murkiness to it. On the nose I get baker’s spice, dark cherry and pomegranate. The initial palate is rich and warm- cherry cobbler, fruitcake, clove and rooibos tea. It is extracted, but deftly so. The mid palate is where I start to get some really nice acidity that overlays the rich fruit with a juiciness. My jaw is starting to water as the wine gets to the finish. Lasting dark red fruits, spice, and a hint of lithe tannins take me to the medium length closure. I’m enjoying this wine a lot. It is a nice balance of New World fruit and winemaker restraint, producing a juicy yet medium bodied wine to enjoy till 2027. I am going with 92 points and for $45 it gets 5 stars. Salut….
Next up at the virtual tasting #15 was this Pinot Noir from Oregon. Claret in color and 50% opaque, it was a little denser than most Pinots. The nose was lush with cherry, boysenberry, cedar, Cherry Coke, cotton candy, spice and fruitcake. On the palate it was a bit of a letdown. Chocolate, mulling spices, cherry and tons of cedar (overoaked?) were noted by the panel. There was a hint of greeness for me that cost a point or two. It seemed like the winemaker was trying too hard, extracting too much and missing the point of the svelte nature of this varietal. It’s about finesse for me, this was more of a young bull in the china shop that had austere edges to him. Good tannic structure was noted that led to a long finish with some astringency hanging on for quite a while. I will re-visit this one again, hoping it softens a touch and sheds its muscular grip. For now this $30 bottle gets 90 points and 3 stars from me. Drink till 2028. Salut….
This Pinot shows a pale shade of purple in the glass and is totally see-through. The nose is bright and lively with red cherry notes, baking spices and orange peel. The palate is delicious with a hint of strawberry coulis alongside cherries jubilee and cranberries. It is a slightly tart affair but there lurks some very lithe tannins. The mid palate is very light weight with more red fruits and spices. The finish is long and very focused on cherry and cranberry- the tart kind. I can sense the astringency of the tannins long after the wine has subsided- a rare thing for me and Pinot Noir. That will bode this wine well in the cellar. I really like it for it’s delicacy, finesse and core of red fruit. It is going to pair nicely with my roast duck l’orange with sautéed leeks. 91 points from me make this $45 bottle a 4 star effort. Drink till 2028. Salut….
This Oregonian Pinot Noir is pale purple and see-through in the glass, as expected. On the nose I get a dose of cherry, some straw and strawberry. The palate is a touch spicy- ginger perhaps? The cherry flavors are very prominent but I also get red currants. The mid palate brings a shot of acidity that is really nice, not overpowering. The spice factor is no longer there, just red cherries and rhubarb. The finish is a juicy affair with the acidity really taking off. It’s not overpowering, but there’s a definite cut. The ending takes me back to the spice box- cinnamon and clove. Really tasty and still very young, it will drink well till 2025. 90 points from me for this $30 wine that gets 3 stars. I paired it with Turkey and stuffing! Salut….
This Oregonian Pinot is quite dark and nearly opaque, very extracted and brooding. On the nose I get cinnamon, cherry and black currants. It’s an interesting mix for this varietal. The initial palate is telling- very fruity with tannic grip right off the bat. This is not your typical Old World Pinot folks, it’s full throttle with all the bits and pieces. Cherry cola, sassafras and a hint of oak are all present. The mid palate is a continuation of the theme but there is now a hint of acidity showing up. It’s quite nice if you like this style of Pinot. The finish is a dry affair, tannins and black tea alongside the red fruits and spice. It’s not my cup of tea but it will certainly appeal to many. Technically speaking I would give this $23 wine 90 points and 4 stars. Drink till 2027 with lighter fare. Salut….