NCWC PINOT NOIR TASTING 4/27/12
TARRICA PINOT NOIR 2010
There are so many reasons to love Pinot, so many reasons why many consider it to be the sexiest grape – and wine – in the world. One is its unmistakably gorgeous perfume, which is probably the most distinctive of all varietals. This one, from the Monterey appellation, carries aromas of cherry, dried cranberry, cinnamon and vanilla. Those same fruit flavors blossom on the palate with medium tannins and lively acidity. 11.97.
POPPY PINOT NOIR 2009
Another source of Pinot’s appeal is its primary fruit flavors of cherry, strawberry, and raspberry that somehow manage to be both delicate and intense. In this example, also from Monterey, those flavors are accented by spice, white pepper, and oak. A good value Pinot, this is easy to drink, with the structural backbone to support that classic red fruit. $12.97.
RITUAL PINOT NOIR 2010
Let us also acknowledge the seductiveness of Pinot’s secondary flavors, like cola, tea, flowers, spice and smoke, among others, which definitely help lend the wine its attractive complexity. No question that quality shows up in this example, from Chile’s Casablanca Valley. Notions of cedar, spice box, cherry blossom, cassis, and strawberry inform the nose of a smooth-textured, savory, nicely concentrated wine with plenty of flavor and solid length. $15.97.
CHANDON PINOT MEUNIER 2010
Pinot Meunier is considered to be the “soulful sibling” of Pinot Noir and displays many of its characteristics. Like that silky, sensuous texture. From Carneros, this wine opens with bright fruit aromas on the nose lead by dominant notes of Santa Rosa plum, hibiscus and hints of cola nut. On the palate, the wine is mouth-watering, deliciously fresh and approachable, as flavors of raspberry, boysenberry, and a trace of briar and juniper are carried on supple tannins for a sexy, satisfying texture. $19.97.
BAILEYANA PINOT NOIR 2008
Pinot is difficult to grow and make. It’s stubborn and challenging. But all that makes it a thought-provoking wine that rewards – sometimes even demands – contemplation. Let’s face it, though; occasional contemplation is a healthy thing in this reckless, fast-paced world. This example from Edna Valley is “supple and intensely concentrated, balanced nicely by smooth but young tannins. Black cherry and dark raspberry notes are present, along with a surprising dash of nutmeg and hazelnut. It rounds out clean and purely varietal, with a lengthy finish.” $19.97.
LINCOURT PINOT NOIR 2008
One of the grape’s most enticing characteristics is that swarthy earthiness that subconsciously pulls us back to an earlier stage in our evolution when we were closer to the land. This essence can show up in many guises, including stone, forest floor, mushroom, truffle, and even barnyard notes. Our next Pinot, from Santa Rita Hills, is “firm, intense and tight, exhibiting a ripe raspberry flavor that shows pebble and floral scents, with spicy notes. It’s full-bodied, turning delicate and ending with firm, balanced tannins.” $19.97.
ALMA ROSA LA ENCANTADA PINOT NOIR 2008
Yet another source of fascination is that Pinot, more than any other grape, so perfectly expresses and reflects the land on which it was grown, to the point where wines from vineyards just a few hundred yards apart can taste quite different. This zesty and powerful version is “packed with fruit, showing intense flavors of red berries and a honeyed richness,” and is another classic example from that slice of Pinot heaven known as the Santa Rita Hills. Like many Pinots, it is definitely worth savoring. $37.97.