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JC (NC)

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Pinot Noirs from around the World with Burghound (Allen Meadows)

by JC (NC) » Tue May 02, 2006 1:25 pm

(posted on another forum also)
I lost my little memo book with all my notes--it must have fallen out of the open side pouch of my summer purse--so that is why the descriptions are particularly sketchy. It mainly comes down to saying which were my favorites.

At Ballantyne Resort Allen Meadows (Burghound) hosted a panel with winemakers or owners from Saintsbury (Dick Ward), Fiddlehead Vineyards (Kathy Joseph), Domaine Serene in Oregon, King Estate in Oregon, and a representative of Louis Jadot in Burgundy, France. We had eight or ten wines to sample. From New Zealand a Felton Road and one I can't recall the name. Felton Road is from Central Otago and the other was from Martinborough. I was not impressed with either.
California Pinots included a Saintsbury Brown Ranch, a Fiddlehead from Santa Rita Hills, a Landmark Kastania from Sonoma and possibly one more I'm forgetting (maybe a Saintsbury Carneros?). From Oregon we had the Domaine Serene Evanstad and the King Estate Pinot Noirs. From Louis Jadot a Chambolle-Musigny Les Feusselottes 1er Cru (sells for about $59 at one USA website)and a Gevrey-Chambertin (not sure if this was a village wine or the premier cru Clos Saint-Jacques or another). My favorites were the King Estate above all others, then the Landmark Kastania, the Saintsbury Brown Ranch and the Louis Jadot Chambolle-Musigny in undetermined order. I scored the King Estate 18.5 out of 20 and the other three mentioned as favorites around 17.5-18. The Louis Jadot representative spoke about the different soil of Chambolle-Musigny and Gevrey-Chambertin and how this terroir difference leads to a smooth, fragrant C-M and a more muscular Gevrey. I usually end up preferring the more velvety style as I did in this case (but there are exceptions to that for me). Very impressed with the King Estate (possibly 2004). The Oregon winemakers also called 2003 a difficult or challenging vintage.
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Re: Pinot Noirs from around the World with Burghound (Allen Meadows)

by Jenise » Tue May 02, 2006 2:35 pm

Lucky you to meet Allen Meadows, not to mention the winemakers.

Just curious, why did the New Zealanders un-impress you?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Pinot Noirs from around the World with Burghound (Allen Meadows)

by JC (NC) » Tue May 02, 2006 3:14 pm

I just haven't found any New Zealand Pinot Noirs that excite me. The closest so far was a 2004 Crossings Pinot Noir from Atawere, Marlborough region. They didn't taste like flawed wines--just kind of bland. OTOH, I was excited by an Australian Pinot Noir recently--the Turner & Cole "Adelaide Hills" Pinot Noir Reserve (one of James Halliday's five-star Pinot producers).
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Re: Pinot Noirs from around the World with Burghound (Allen Meadows)

by Ian Sutton » Tue May 02, 2006 3:29 pm

JC
The one I'd recommend from NZ (if you've not tried it) it Martinborough Vineyard Pinot Noir. Not particularly cheap, but one that consistently works for me at 4-6 years from vintage.
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Re: Pinot Noirs from around the World with Burghound (Allen Meadows)

by Jenise » Tue May 02, 2006 3:44 pm

JC (NC) wrote:I just haven't found any New Zealand Pinot Noirs that excite me. The closest so far was a 2004 Crossings Pinot Noir from Atawere, Marlborough region. They didn't taste like flawed wines--just kind of bland. OTOH, I was excited by an Australian Pinot Noir recently--the Turner & Cole "Adelaide Hills" Pinot Noir Reserve (one of James Halliday's five-star Pinot producers).


Australian pinot, really? I've never heard of Turner & Cole--you bought it here? My own luck with Australia's pinots hasn't been good. I've had a number of different Australian producers, and absolutely none of them excited me. They've all been very monochromatic--resolutely one-noted, like Bannockburn--or more zinny than pinot (Yarra Yering). An exception to either would be a wine like Halliday's own Coldstream Hills, but even then the wine didn't seem exceptional in a world-class way, only better than the others.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Pinot Noirs from around the World with Burghound (Allen Meadows)

by Ian Sutton » Tue May 02, 2006 5:54 pm

Jenise
... and you're not exactly hitting the low end wines there.
I've seen more than a few comments from Aussies who don't believe they make world class (or even acceptable!) pinot noir. I've yet to have one I've enjoyed, but having said that I've not tried Giaconda, Mount Mary or Bass Phillip level of wines.
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Re: Pinot Noirs from around the World with Burghound (Allen Meadows)

by JC (NC) » Tue May 02, 2006 6:19 pm

Jenise, I hadn't heard of Turner & Cole either until Carolina Wine Company in Raleigh started selling their dry Riesling (I haven't tried the Riesling yet) and Pinot Noir. The Pinot has been popular both in the shop and at Enoteca Vin Restaurant which has ties to CWC.

Ian, thank you for your suggestion of Martinborough Pinot Noir. I will be on the watch for that. The same store that had the Crossings Pinot Noir had a more expensive one, Matariki. Have you tried that one? Maybe Sue Courtney will chime in if she is familiar with it.
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Re: Pinot Noirs from around the World with Burghound (Allen Meadows)

by Anders Källberg » Tue May 02, 2006 6:20 pm

Agreeing with Ian's suggestion, I'd also like to add Felton Road from Central Otago, on the south island, in particular their Block 3 & 5. The Central Otago Pinots display the highest level of "Pinosity" in the world, as it has been described by Blair Walters, winemaker at Felton Road.
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Re: Pinot Noirs from around the World with Burghound (Allen Meadows)

by JC (NC) » Tue May 02, 2006 6:30 pm

We had a Felton Road that didn't thrill me (don't know about the block).

Jenise, more on Turner & Cole. I learned from another wine forum that the producer is actually Dogridge and the importer is named Turner. Possibly a private label for the importer. Reviews of the Turner & Cole "Lenswood" Pinot Noir on the other site were not very enthusiastic. (A $10 wine). The one I liked was the Adelaide Hills Reserve. I wouldn't call it "world class" but certainly enjoyable and worth the price: $19.99 by the bottle and $16.99 by the case. I think it beats most American Pinots in that price range (not that there are many American Pinots in that price range).

Here's a link to the importer's descriptions of the wines:

http://www.turnerwineimports.com/turner___cole.html
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Re: Pinot Noirs from around the World with Burghound (Allen Meadows)

by Dan Donahue » Tue May 02, 2006 6:49 pm

I'm going to a Aussie/NZ wine dinner tonight and the three featured wines are the'03 Felton Road PN, the '03 Kumeu River Chardonnay and a Grant Burge Shiraz (the e-mail says '05 vintage but I suspect it will be the '03). I'm looking forward to the Felton Road--the few Central Otago PN's I've had were pretty decent. Subtle and slow to shine, but ultimately true to the grape, as noted above.

Sometimes it takes a couple of glasses over a leisurely meal to get the full measure of a wine.
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Re: Pinot Noirs from around the World with Burghound (Allen Meadows)

by JC (NC) » Tue May 02, 2006 7:18 pm

I've liked the Kumeu River Chardonnay the few times I've sampled it. Have fun at the dinner.
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Re: Pinot Noirs from around the World with Burghound (Allen Meadows)

by JoePerry » Wed May 03, 2006 12:06 am

Bindi Block 5 is my favorite Aussie Pinot - which I tasted against most of the big hitters while I was down there.

Ata Rangi is my favorite Kiwi Pinot.

Nice notes, it is always interesting to do compare/contrast tastings from the same grape in different areas.

Best,
Joe
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Re: Pinot Noirs from around the World with Burghound (Allen Meadows)

by Dan Donahue » Wed May 03, 2006 11:45 am

JC--you are spot on with the Kumeu River. I'm not a big Chardonnay fan but I ended up buying some of this (for a wine dinner the prices on the featured wines was unexpectedly competitive). !8 months in 75% new oak, but didn't seem over-oaked. It had plenty of acid and fruits to keep everything in balance. Plus an unusual tangerine-coconut taste that I really enjoyed.

The Fenton Road was an interesting experience. Dawn didn't like it at all, so I saved half of my glass and swirled the wine aggresively for about an hour. It made a huge difference; at least it won Dawn over. I'd give this 2-3 hours in the decanter (and a few years in the cellar). So I bought a few of these also, so much for my buying hiatus.

All in all, a nice way to spend Tuesday night.
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Re: Pinot Noirs from around the World with Burghound (Allen Meadows)

by Jenise » Wed May 03, 2006 12:24 pm

Ian, that's right, not low end at all. You know what, I've heard the same thing that you mention from another Aussie wine geek or two. And it doesn't make sense to say that with all that land and all that talent they can't make great pinot there, but so far.... What about that area that was going to be their great solution to the pinot problem. Something Peninsula. Mannington? Mornington? Some bloke ambled in here a few years ago talking about how that area was going to put them on the pinot map once and for all.

Haven't heard a word about it since. :)
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Pinot Noirs from around the World with Burghound (Allen Meadows)

by Jenise » Wed May 03, 2006 12:35 pm

JC--thanks for the weblink. So they're basically a negociant who buys up unsold wine and puts their own labels on the bottles. Nothing especially wrong with that, but it makes me nervous. A given wine might be good as your pinot obviously was, but there's no winery there per se so liking any wine is, within the context of wine history as set by the track records of individual wineries and winemakers of the kind we love to discuss on boards like this, meaningless. I guess the wine glut will, however, ensure that we have more and more wines like this to talk about.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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