Tasting Notes contains just that notes on wines I have tasted!

Friday, May 21, 2004

Pinot Noir From Around The World

This is the second in a series of wine tastings being held on a monthly basis at Vintage Wines, San Diego, California. The event was billed as:

Pinot Noir
May 20, 6:30-8:00PM
"Why is it that all enophiles end up drinking Burgundy? Several reasons come to mind: They are the hardest to find, the most elegant, the most versatile to pair with food and sometimes the most expensive! Come taste 8 wines comparing regions from California, Oregon, and Burgundy. We will talk about the different philosophies in production, grape growing and everything else involved in the production of a great wine. We hope to take some of the mystery out of getting a great bottle of Pinot Noir."

I must preface these tasting notes with the statement that Pinot Noir is not one of my favorite wines. But I must also note that I have had none of the great wines of Burgundy, nor have I had any truly aged pinots. Nonetheless I continue to search for that Pinot Noir that will awaken my interest. Unfortunately that wine was not found in this organized tasting.

The wines were poured before we arrived and tasted blind. Their identities were revealed after we had tasted the wines and voted for our favorite wine. There were about 20 people in the tasting group.

Shea Wine Cellars Block 23, Willamette Valley 2002 ($39.99US)
Brilliant cherry red color. Strawberries and lychees and a vinous character to the flavors. Good acidity to the finish and and the flavors carried through on retronasal. Not one of my favorites, but well liked by the rest of the group.

Joseph Roty Cuvee de Champs Chenys, Gevrey Chambertin 2001 ($43.99US)
Lighter in color than the first wine. A very closed wine that opened later with beef jerky and then honey flavors. A nice soft entry but a prominent acid finish with some bitterness. Little if any flavor on retronasal. My least favorite wine.

Failla Keefer Ranch, Russian River 2002 ($34.99US)
Another brilliant cherry red wine, with red berry and lychees flavors. Tannins gave a fuller mouth feel and the flavors carried through on retronasal. Developed more complexity during the tasting, becoming almost sweet. (Some detected chocolate, I couldn’t.)

Perrot Minot Gevrey Chambertin 2002 ($44.99US)
Light cherry in color. Earthy/dusty character that developed into a creaming soda (cola-like) flavor. Hint of barnyard. Very well balanced wine with a clean finish, and good flavor length on retronasal.

Broadley Claudia’s Choice, Willamette Valley 2002 ($39.99US)
Another cherry red wine. Strong nail polish remover (ethyl acetate) and berry flavors. Earthy/dusty. Although the wine developed more character in the glass, the mouth feel was too tannic and the wine seemed a little out of balance.

Perrot Minot Vieilles Vignes, Chambolle Musigny 2002 ($49.99US)
Cherry red color. A very closed wine. Vinous, oak flavors. A soft entry but too tart on the finish. What flavors there were carried through on retronasal. One of the least impressive wines of the tasting for me.

Lucia Gary’s Vineyard, Santa Lucia 2002 ($30.99US)
Light cherry red. Lightest colored wine of the group. Strawberries and lychees initially that developed into a creaming soda flavor. Soft entry and well balanced with a touch of sweetness and a crisp finish. Most persistent retronasal of the group. This wine was the group’s favorite.

Robert Arnoux Grand Cru, Clos Vougeot 1999 ($79.99US)
Cherry red with a faint orange tint suggested a wine with some age to it. Definite barnyard, and earthy characters. Very good mouth feel and a crisp finish with the flavors carrying well on retronasal. Developed well during the tasting, although the barnyard smell did become a slightly more manure stink.

I voted for the Clos Vougeot as my favorite wine but when I went back and added my scores the Lucia ended up on top with the Clos Vougeot coming in second.


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