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Bill Buitenhuys

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WTN: 7 pinots in paper bags

by Bill Buitenhuys » Fri Aug 25, 2006 10:23 am

A local wine shop held a blind tasting of 7 recent release pinots from around the world: Oregon, Cali, New Zealand, France, and South Africa. We were to try to guess the region and order them by cost. I’m not too good at even semi-blind tastings but here are my guesses:

    1. Sweet cherry with decent minerality, soft tannins, good acidity. This is pretty good, easy drinker. (Turns out to be my favorite.) Cooler climate pinot. New Zealand? Not too expensive
    2005 Fleur de California Pinot Noir (Carneros) $16

    2. Big fruity nose, lots of oddly-flavored, smoky oak, tannic. Don’t like. Cali? Cheap.
    2005 Serenity Vineyards Pinot Noir (Sonoma) $20

    3. Very ripe bordering on jammy, rich, toasty, chewy. Pretty tasty but a little too large for me. This is a hot climate Cali. More expensive
    2004 Samantha Starr Pinot Noir (Monterey County) $15

    4. Typical over-the-top chocolate covered cherry, low acidity Cali (or other hot climate) pinot. Good tannic structure but not my cuppa pinot. Pretty expensive
    2003 Brucher Winery Aubaine Vineyard Pinot Noir Reserve (San Luis Obispo) $39

    5. Very perfumed nose. This one smells and tastes French but it’s just too big. Chalky tannins. South Africa? Moderately expensive
    2003 Michael Sarrazin Bourgogne $15

    6. No nose, little taste, chewy tannins, high acid. Shut down? No idea on cost
    2004 Moshin Vineyards Tusi Vineyard Pinot Noir (Dry Creek Valley) $26

    7. More chocolate covered cherry. Medium body, decent fruit, some earth, chewy, but a hot, bitter finish. Cooler climate Cali or Oregon? Moderate expensive
    2004 DeLoach Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley) $20

My guess for cost (cheap to high): 2-$15, 1-$20, 7/5/3-$23, 4-$30 (and no idea on 6).

So instead of pinot from all over the world, the manager tricked us with 6 out of 7 from Cali and one hot vintage Burg. I’d buy the Fleur as a weekday pinot (although at $16 I can find more value elsewhere) and I’d try the Sarrazin in a different vintage.
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Dale Williams

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Re: WTN: 7 pinots in paper bags

by Dale Williams » Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:15 pm

thanks for the notes, as always.
Tricky retailer. You'd think he'd throw in a Burg from a cooler vintage for contrast.
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Alan A.

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Re: WTN: 7 pinots in paper bags

by Alan A. » Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:18 pm

You may want to shop around a little for the Fleur de California. I've found it here in the land of cotton for $13 (not on sale.)
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Bill Buitenhuys

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Re: WTN: 7 pinots in paper bags

by Bill Buitenhuys » Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:20 pm

Tricky retailer. You'd think he'd throw in a Burg from a cooler vintage for contrast.
This guy likes BIG wines so '03 is just perfectly hedonistic for him. Needless to say, I dont shop there very often. You are right though, a cooler vintage would have been a way better contrast.
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Bill Buitenhuys

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Re: WTN: 7 pinots in paper bags

by Bill Buitenhuys » Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:21 pm

Thanks, Alan. This shop is notoriously high by at least 20%. I really only get stuff there if it's on close out or during a 20% sale. :D

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