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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

by Bill Hooper » Thu May 19, 2011 6:15 am

ChaimShraga wrote:Ah, you know, I remember the first time I tasted a German Pinot Noir. It had all the logic of late-period Minutemen and the importer who poured it for me said there are three controversial things in life: coriander, Manhattan and German Pinot.


Chaim,

Nice reference! It's not often that the Minutemen get thrown into a wine tasting note (By the way, I like your Blog. It’s fucking hilarious!)

That may have been true, but now I’d say they are more in the Hüsker Dü or Pixies realm; More melodic, but they rock just the same.

Cheers,
Bill
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

by ChaimShraga » Thu May 19, 2011 10:18 am

Thanks for the compliment, Bill.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

by Andrew Bair » Thu May 19, 2011 8:10 pm

Bill Hooper wrote:2009 Weingut Bernhart Spätburgunder Qualitätswein Trocken –Pfalz, Germany 13,0% alc.

Along with Friedrich Becker and Weingut Jülg, Bernhart makes up the trifecta of excellent wineries that grace Schweigen on the Alsace/Pfalz border and all three have vineyards in both countries (all legally delimited as Anbaugebiet Pfalz. As with the other two, The Pinot family leads the way here with Pinot Noir (Spätburgunder) taking the lead.

The basic Spätburgunder 2009 is the biggest surprise and most overachieving pinot that I think I’ve ever tasted -not because I doubted Bernhart, but because I doubted quality of the price-tag: 6,80€. It is as close to Francophiliac Pinot Noir as anything I’ve tasted for the price from anywhere. Honest and understated red currant and raspberry fruit with plenty of leafy, tertiary flavors and rough-hewn tannins. It is the correct color and weight and has beautiful structure and cherry blossom and rosewater aromas.

Cheers,
Bill


Bill -

Thank you for the interesting note. Bernhart is a new name to me. I may be wrong, but am rather doubting that they are imported to the United States.

At any rate, I had this Spätburgunder a week or so ago, and am curious if you have any thoughts on this Pfalz producer, who is also new to me:

2009 Alexandra-Isabell und Andreas Diehl Roschbacher Rosenkränzel Spätburgunder Rotwein Trocken “Eins zu Eins”
Medium to full-bodied, dry, moderately tannic, with somewhat tarry/spicy dark cherry and berry notes. A somewhat darker fruit profile that I usually like in Pinot Noir. At $15, the price is certainly good as far as German Spätburgunder goes, although I like Meßmer's better for roughly the same cost.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

by Bill Hooper » Fri May 20, 2011 3:07 pm

Hi Andrew,

I am sorry, but I have never heard of them. Roschbach is close to Flemlingen, but even farther out towards the plains. Who is importing them?
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

by Kelly Young » Fri May 20, 2011 3:09 pm

Bill Hooper wrote:
ChaimShraga wrote:Ah, you know, I remember the first time I tasted a German Pinot Noir. It had all the logic of late-period Minutemen and the importer who poured it for me said there are three controversial things in life: coriander, Manhattan and German Pinot.


Chaim,

Nice reference! It's not often that the Minutemen get thrown into a wine tasting note (By the way, I like your Blog. It’s fucking hilarious!)

That may have been true, but now I’d say they are more in the Hüsker Dü or Pixies realm; More melodic, but they rock just the same.

Cheers,
Bill


This ain't no picnic!
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

by Bill Hooper » Fri May 20, 2011 5:30 pm

Kelly Young wrote:
Bill Hooper wrote:
ChaimShraga wrote:Ah, you know, I remember the first time I tasted a German Pinot Noir. It had all the logic of late-period Minutemen and the importer who poured it for me said there are three controversial things in life: coriander, Manhattan and German Pinot.


Chaim,

Nice reference! It's not often that the Minutemen get thrown into a wine tasting note (By the way, I like your Blog. It’s fucking hilarious!)

That may have been true, but now I’d say they are more in the Hüsker Dü or Pixies realm; More melodic, but they rock just the same.

Cheers,
Bill


This ain't no picnic!


Not without a bottle of Bernhart and a sandwich. Or a Corona as the case may be.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

by ChaimShraga » Fri May 20, 2011 6:24 pm

You know, three Minutemen fans coming out of the closet is a mind-bogglingly huge number.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

by Bill Hooper » Fri May 20, 2011 7:14 pm

ChaimShraga wrote:You know, three Minutemen fans coming out of the closet is a mind-bogglingly huge number.


On a Wine website, perhaps. We may have to do a Riesling and Rock offline in the Azores, fellas.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

by Bill Hooper » Fri May 20, 2011 7:19 pm

2008 Knipser Blauer Spätburgunder Qualitätswein Trocken –Pfalz, Germany 13,5%

Knipser is recognized by a lot of people (and by the three most influential German wine publications) as being the top estate in the Pfalz. They are well-known for both white and red wines, but the reds probably fetch the most attention and assuredly the highest prices. Spätburgunder is excellent here, and Knipser also grows Syrah, St. Laurent, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc (the last three used in their ‘Cuvee X’ blend, named so before these varieties were legally recognized for planting in the Pfalz. They are also one of only two producers that I know of in Germany to grow the noble, rare, and ancient Gelber Orleans (the other being Georg Breuer in the Rheingau.) Knipser, with guys like Philipp Kuhn, are making the northern (Unterhaardt) stretch of the Pfalz very exciting.

The wines are magnificent and even the basic, entry-level stuff (such as this) are hands-down better than most of the reserve wines from other producers and they are priced appropriately.

Black berry and elderberry, sweet paprika, ash, rust, black olive, and subtle oak undertones. Durable, impressive, though not especially pretty Pinot. And not slippery-textured new-worldy Pinot, there is some tannic grit here, substantially but also elegantly integrated. Very good.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

by JC (NC) » Fri May 20, 2011 7:47 pm

2007 Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. 14.5% alcohol. I purchased two of this wine and two bottles of the 2007 Kosta Browne Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. After opening one bottle of each, I preferred the Sonoma Coast blend. Initially this was somewhat grapey and primary in its dark fruited scents and palate. Additional aeration in the glass released some herbal or dried leaf components. I recorked and refrigerated it while I attended a Bordeaux dinner in Raleigh the next night. Came back to this on the third day and it had really come together. it divulged a rich, fruity texture, no longer tasting grapey. Tasted balanced and not hot from the alcohol. Medium to long finish. Mike Browne is guesting on Wine Berserkers forum and says that he loves the 2007's but thinks they could use a few more years of cellar time and he is probably correct about that. I will leave the remaining Russian River Valley blend for a couple more years. Next us a Martinus Pinot Noir from New Zealand.
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[WTN] Vini 2009 Danube River Plain Bulgaria Pinot Noir

by Robin Garr » Fri May 20, 2011 11:38 pm

Vini 2009 Danube River Plain Bulgaria Pinot Noir ($8.99)

Garnet, dark but clear. Typical Pinot scents on the cool, "green" side, tomato skin and tree bark. Aromas carry over to the palate, joining tart black-cherry fruit, bright acidity, 13.5% alcohol and somewhat rough tannins. A bit rustic, but it's versatile with food and definitely shows Pinot character. Sealed to last under a sturdy metal screw cap. U.S. importer: Bulgarian Master Vintners LLC, Sonoma, Calif. (May 15, 2011)

FOOD MATCH: I re-created a 2006 invention, a savory blueberry-juniper berry sauce for some local Dreamcatcher Farm pastured pork tenderloin medallions.

VALUE: Startlingly good value for less than $10.

WEB LINK:
Bulgarian Master Vintners' Web page offers information and FAQs about Bulgarian wine and online wine sales.
http://www.bulgarianwine.com/

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Bulgarian Master Vintners' portfolio is now available in 20 states of the U.S., the importer says, but it's still barely visible on Wine-Searcher.com. You can buy its wines direct from the importer, where the law allows, or contact info@bulgarianwine.com by Email for information about vendors near you.
http://www.bulgarianwine.com
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

by David M. Bueker » Sat May 21, 2011 10:22 am

JC (NC) wrote:2007 Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir...Tasted balanced and not hot from the alcohol...


Good to hear. I have always been leery of what would happen to the big Cali Pinots with a little age, although 14.5 isn't all that high these days.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

by ChefJCarey » Sat May 21, 2011 10:28 pm

Howie Hart wrote:2006 Bernard Machado Pinot Noir – This bottle was gifted to me by the owner of the winery when I visited McMinnville, OR last year. Deep ruby, cherry, with a touch of smokey bacon on the nose and a full, long finish. I opened it at the Bob Ross Jeebus and liked it a lot, but it was one of probably many excellent wines that may have got lost in the crowd.


I think JD makes terrific wine, Howie. I've had several vintages - all good. I just attended his yearly Easter egg hunt and barbecue - lots of winemakers and vineyard workers and their children there. A great time (five different kinds of pulled pork, for instance).

If I have time later I'll chime in with a half dozen excellent Oregon pinot noirs.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

by Jenise » Sun May 22, 2011 10:25 am

Chef, good to see you!

I have three reports from the last couple of days:

2005 Domaine d'Antugnac Cote Pierre Lys VdP, Languedoc, France: On the lighter side with a soft, mauvy color and savory character that makes it a better food wine than sipper. Last of three or four bottles purchased from Garagiste, and over time each was less interesting than the one before. I'm glad they're finally gone--mind you, no bottle was bad, but the wine lacked the essential pinosity that is that thing you seek when you look at dinner and think, "How about a pinot with that?"

2004 Marchese Alfieri San Germano, Monferrato, Italy: another Garagiste purchase, but a much better one. From over 100 year old pre-phylloxera vines, this 'pinot nero' is very nero--complex black fruit evolving with spice, earth and a hint of iodine. Extra acidity as is typical of, it seems, all Italian wine, but the fruit is substantive enough to balance it. Maturing very nicely. Atypical but both good and interesting, if rather whacky for the roast halibut I served for dinner.

2006 A.P. Vin Garys' Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands, California: I've only had one AP Vin pinot before, a different vintage that was also about five years out when we drank it, and it was not as good a bottle as this. Big and sweet with warm caramel tones rounding out the red fruit and minerals (very Garys'). Showing its age, but it's aging well and has a good three years to go, I'd say, if not longer. Good California pinot flavors, though the heat in the finish had me reaching for the bottle to check the alcohol: yup, 14.7%. I would prefer less alcohol and sweetness, but it did pair very well with our main course of sweetish Asian-marinated prime sirloin and gailan in oyster sauce.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

by David M. Bueker » Mon May 23, 2011 8:05 am

2005 Pali Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir
This wine, made by Brian Loring back when Pali was just starting up, is hopdling up well. There's still lots of red and black fruit, and the oak that was somewhat obtrusive on release has backed away from the forefront. It's a little more alcoholic than I prefer in my Pinot, but overall not too bad.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

by JC (NC) » Mon May 23, 2011 2:59 pm

I'll finish the Martinus Pinot Noir from New Zealand tonight and then look for another California entry--since Jenise posted on an A.P. Garys' Vineyard, I may post on the A.P. Rosella's.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

by Andrew Bair » Tue May 24, 2011 9:53 pm

Bill Hooper wrote:Hi Andrew,

I am sorry, but I have never heard of them. Roschbach is close to Flemlingen, but even farther out towards the plains. Who is importing them?



Bill -

Sorry for the late response - been a busy week. Anyway, the importer is Ewald Moseler in Oregon. They are distributed in much of the U.S., and do mostly German wines, with a few Austrians.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

by Andrew Bair » Tue May 24, 2011 10:08 pm

Cross-posted from the main forum:

2009 Meßmer Spätburgunder QbA Trocken Pfalz
From 1L Bottle. Light to medium-bodied, balanced, moderately acidic, and lightly tannic; shows red fruit, plum, and spice notes. Good; a solid QPR Pinot Noir for $16.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

by Joe Moryl » Tue May 24, 2011 11:20 pm

2010 Pinot Noir Dry Rose, Ravines, Finger Lakes (NY):
On the whole, I haven't been too impressed with Finger Lakes Roses: they tend to the sweetish blush style for the bus tour crowd or seem like afterthoughts, perhaps a way to get rid of some under-ripe red grapes. This is an exception. A bone dry, salmon pink wine made using saignee (some FL producers cheat and add red wine to a white). Nose isn't up to a lot until the wine warms, but the palate reveals a lovely strawberry accented wine of nice length and texture. Goes down all too easily on a hot and humid evening. 12.5% abv, $12.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

by JC (NC) » Thu May 26, 2011 1:28 pm

2004 Martinus Estate Pinot Noir, Martinborough, New Zealand.
13.8% alcohol. Vineyard was established in 1998 (so young vines) with a variety of Pinot Noir clones on a number of different trellis systems. Robert van Zanten is owner/winemaker. Imported by Robert Bath Imports, St. Helena, CA. I first tasted this at a wine dinner at Zely & Ritz in Raleigh with Robert Bath in attendance. New World Pinot Noir profile with some oak influence. Nearly opaques purple-red color. Dark fruits and what reminds me of blackberry tea but what probably prompted the description on the label of red and black licorice. (By the third evening it seemed to shed the blackberry tea quality and show more as purple plumlike. I liked it better in the plum spectrum.) Just enough complexity to maintain interest. Some tannins and a long finish. Could possibly go a couple more years.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

by Tom V » Fri May 27, 2011 10:48 am

2005 Williams Selyem Russian River Valley , $42.00 on release

Wow was this ever delicious! We bought a case of this upon release and this is the third bottle we've opened. The first one, opened shortly after release, was popped at a BYO restaurant and was really closed not showing much at all. The second bottle which we double decanted and brought to a restaurant in December was far more ready, and although a bit restrained , had lovely pinot scents & flavors with a nice balance of tannin & acid that went great with our meal, although I can't remember what that was.
The bottle we popped on Sunday was decanted and poured and was easily the most impressive of the three. We didn't really parse it down closely as it followed three other wines and we were, I guess you'd say, a bit "in our cups". My brother only knew I was decanting "a pinot" and as soon as he tasted the wine he said "now THIS is a really good wine!". Very accessible, great balance, beautiful pinot nose and flavors. Bob Cabral, the winemaker, described this wine in part as "creamy, silky, yet fat finish and concentrated berry /spicy flavors" which captures pretty nicely what I remember savoring on Sunday. Can't wait to get into some of the Single Vineyard WS wines sleeping in my cellar!
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

by Sue Courtney » Sat May 28, 2011 4:52 pm

Some recent Pinot Noir vibes

I generally manage to taste at last one pinot noir a week, often more and not surprisingly, given where I live, 99% of them are from New Zealand. I've not had any 2010 vintage PNs pass my lips, yet - but from the previous three years: 2007 was a hot ripe year, 2008 cooler and 2009 a hotter year again. Here are a few I've recently tried that I like: mostly from 2009, but one from 2008. All have screwcap closures.

Wooing Tree Beetlejuice Pinot Noir 2009 – Central Otago
This producer specialises in Pinot Noir and this is the cheapest of the Wooing Tree reds making it one of the best value Central Otago pinot noirs around. A ripe, juicy pinot with a saturated deep ruby colour, succulent cherry and plum fruit, plush velvety tannins, oak spice and well-balanced smoky savouriness. I think it's the best they've made under the Beetlejuice label so far – previous vintages perhaps erring a little on the jammy / confetionary side. 14/5% alc. NZ$25.

Akarua Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009
This was awarded Champion Pinot Noir at the (NZ) Royal Easter Show Wine Awards in February. It's a deep ruby colour with inviting aromas of plum, earth and savoury oak and generous flavours of bright red fruits with anise-like spices, smoky oak, a touch of chocolate and acidity adding brightness. It's succulent and approachable yet has a firmness to the structure that demands respect. 14% alc. $32.

They also make a 'Reserve' which I prefer to this wine, not to say this is not good, because it is – it's just that the 'Reserve' has more. The 'Reserve' was not entered in the Easter awards.

Akarua Central Otago Bannockburn Reserve Pinot Noir 2009
A brilliant ruby red, showing a little more depth than its sibling, this has an inviting aroma of smoky savoury oak with a hint of game and bittersweet red fruits. Spicy and savoury to the taste with silk-edged velvety tannins, juicy red and black fruits and a succulent and savoury finish that leaves a powerful impression, the textural complexity gives it the upper hand and there's a lovely vibrancy as the spice-infused flavours linger. 14.7% alc. $57.

Valli Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2008 – Central Otago
Valli is the personal label of long-time CO winemaker, Grant Taylor (previously with Gibbston Valley Wines). This is the best of his Valli trio from 2008. The perfumed, sweet-fruited aroma infused with subtle florals and musk is beguiling and the wine is juicy with a silky tannin structure, spicy oak, nuances of forest floor, mushrooms and black cherries with a chocolatey richness welling up from within to balance the underlying acidity. 14% alc. NZ$57.

Waipara Hills Equinox Waipara Pinot Noir 2009
This producer is really makin an imperssion on the wine scene and wines like this make you take notice. It has an expressive powerful aroma of spice, savoury oak and macerated mulled-wine fruit that carries through to the palate where a fruit driven sweetness balances the deep, gamey, earthy savouriness. With its silk-edged velvety tannins and succulent richness, it has a funky sexy allure. 14% alc. NZ$30.

Martinborough Vineyards 'Te Tera' Martinborough Pinot Noir 2009
Te Tera is a lower tier label than the 'Martinborough Terraces' wine, and thankfully, cheaper, because the quality expected from this producer is definitely here. It is smoky and savoury with a finely structured silky texture and black cherry flavours enhanced by integrated spicy oak with a meaty depth and a forest floor complexity with an earthy richness to the lingering finish. 14% alc. NZ$27.

Julicher 99 Rows Martinborough Pinot Noir 2009 – Martinborough
Reasonably new to the Martinborough wine scene, but making an impact right from the start, this 2009 vintage follows on from the stellar wines that Juilicher produced in 2006 and 2007. While lighter in colour, what I like about this is its immense juiciness and generosity while maintaining the smoky, savoury characters and firm tannins I associate with the region. Fruit is in the cherry / red guava spectrum – it has that lovely bittersweet mystique - and anise-like herbs and spice infiltrate the finish. 14% alc. $NZ26.

Chees,
Sue Courtney
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

by Salil » Sun May 29, 2011 2:01 am

2009 Jacques Puffeney Pinot Noir Arbois (Jura)
Very nice, though not quite what I was in the mood for. I've found a few other 09 Jura wines rather ripe, and this follows the pattern - ripe cherry fruit and savoury earth conveyed with a sense of plushness and surprising roundness in the mouth, though nicely balanced by gentle tannins and bright acids. It's medium bodied and closer to a ripe Burg than a Jura red in terms of flavours and texture, though I hope that character will come out with some cellar time.
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Re: May Wine Focus - Beyond Burgundy: World Pinot Noir

by Mark Lipton » Sun May 29, 2011 2:43 am

ChaimShraga wrote:You know, three Minutemen fans coming out of the closet is a mind-bogglingly huge number.


I didn't know that I was in the closet, but you can count me as a fourth fan of D. Boon and the boys.

Mark Lipton
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