Also posted on another board
These were tried in 3-oz. pours at Enoteca Vin Restaurant in Raleigh with a Sunday brunch (brown butter shrimp with mixed greens, Laura Chenel chevre and ripe olive tapenade) Prices are retail per bottle at Carolina Wine Company
2004 TURNER AND COLE RESERVE "ADELAIDE HILLS" PINOT NOIR, AUSTRALIA 14% alcohol
This has been hyped recently by CWC. It was a bit paler, less dense than the Eric Ross wine; not opaque; a burgundy color. Violets on the nose. Quite aromatic. Immediate first impression was that I like this better than any of the N.Z. Pinot Noirs I've tried to date. It was not heavy tasting but showed a fairly lengthy finish. Dark cherries on the palate with a touch of mild pepper. Gives a chewier, fuller texture when held in the mouth before swallowing. Quite nice. (I received a small tasting pour the next day at Carolina Wine Company shop and got more berries on the nose and palate--strawberry, yes; cranberry, maybe.)
2001 ERIC ROSS "SARALEE" VINEYARD PINOT NOIR, RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY, CA 14.2% alcohol (near Forestville)
aged in French oak $24.99
slightly darker, denser than the Turner & Cole P.N.
Unable to get much nose with swirling (small 3-oz. pour in a large Burgundy glass made it more difficult to get near my nose but I think the Turner & Cole was more aromatic.)
Loved it on the palate. Reddish brown color; not opaque. More nose after 15 minutes in the glass. Tart on the finish with mild pepper. Seamless texture. Both Pinots were balanced for fruit, acids, tannins. Slightly preferred the Eric Ross Saralee but feel that both wines are worth their retail price. Both have a lengthy and pleasant finish. Both suggest Burgundy more than does the average New World Pinot Noir. The Eric Ross had a very slight smokiness that differentiates it from the Turner & Cole (perhaps from aging in French oak).
I was thinking that they were both about $25 but the Turner & Cole is only $16.99. I bought a bottle of the Eric Ross to take home but may snatch some of the Turner & Cole on my next trip if it is still around.
Thumbs up on both wines which enhanced the brunch.