Wine Talk

Snooth User: jamessulis

Pinot Noir's

Posted by jamessulis, Aug 17, 2012.

I am a dyed in the wool fan of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlots, Sangiovese's and a few Chardonnays and Pinot Grigio's. I am trying to widen my spectrum to include Pinot Noir's. I live in the Pacific Northwest so the Pinot Noir's are readily available due to the large varieties from Oregon.

Before I embark on purchasing some different brands I would like to do a bit of a research from some of my Snooth members as to what they may possibly recommend and reasons why. Yesterday I purchased a bottle of 2010 Firesteed Pinot Noir made in Oregon. I have yet to pop the cork to see where my taste direction takes me. I love the flavors and or tastes of Oak, Vanilla, supple tannins, deep berry and sometimes smokey. I am open to suggestions.

Help me on this new venture,

Thanks, Lefty - The Great Pacific Northwest

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Replies

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Reply by gregt, Aug 17, 2012.

Go back to Cab.  You'll be happier.

I have a Pinot Noir I keep thinking of opening one day.  Then I think "Nah. Why do that to yourself?" And I open something good.

Just my 2 cts!

 

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Reply by napagirl68, Aug 17, 2012.

Hi Lefty,

From your description of what you like, I would recommend giving

http://www.atozwineworks.com/pnoir.html

It is decent and priced right.

I tend to like prolly a very different style:  tart red fruit, asian spice, earthy... with a barnyard (yes that mean manure!) nose.  my fave pinot to date, even after trying soo sooo many is the 2008 Lioco sonoma coast pinot noir.  You cannot get it anymore.

Back to Oregon, Erath gets a lot of press, but I am not so im-pressed :-)  I personally like Bethel Heights, Sokol Blosser, and Stoller- which i discovered through a snooth virtual tasting.  Most excellent pinot.  Here is the link to the VT:  http://www.snooth.com/virtual-tasting/video/stoller-winery-from-oregon-tasting/

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Reply by napagirl68, Aug 17, 2012.

GregT.. shame on you!!!  You sound like my husband.  He says my pinot attracts the flies in our property! LOL!   Oh my.

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Reply by zufrieden, Aug 17, 2012.

Yes, PN is much like a lover who promises much and delivers, well, very little. But the reason for the love-hate relationship between lovers of medium-bodied wine and PN is that the variety does deliver under very controlled conditions (Clos du Beze, e. g.). The results are, as they say, spectacular.  I do not need Napoleon Bonaparte to tell me what the best of Burgundy is, but then if you look at how PN is supposed to be made and how it must express itself ( I know this is a bit much), you know that only Burgundy can do it.  I have waited for decades for something comparable to show itself elsewhere but to no avail; it is France or nothing IMHO.

But the best of France will convince you that PN is as good or better than the rest - unless you must have heavy wines...

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Reply by gregt, Aug 18, 2012.

GregT.. shame on you!!!  You sound like my husband.  He says my pinot attracts the flies in our property! LOL!   Oh my.

He's right!

Zuf - the best of France may indeed convince one that the wine is as good as some other - but it's a long slog to get to that wine and when you do, is it worth the tarrif in pain, time and money?

I've had a few Burgs I thought were really magnificent. Worth the price? Not for me. And worth going thru all the substandard ones to find? Not for me.

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Reply by spikedc, Aug 18, 2012.

Lefty,

Again, not  a big Pinot drinker but I did drink a fabulous bottle a little while back with friends and everyone really enjoyed it.

Think this might hit the spot moderately sweet red cherries, oak was quite noticeable and spicy

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 14 Pinot Noir 2010 - Marlborough, New Zealand

 

 

 

 

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Reply by napagirl68, Aug 18, 2012.

Please try some boutique russian river valley/ Sonoma pinots... here's a few:

Gracianna Vineyards

Taft Street winery

Balleto winery

W. H. smith

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Reply by JonDerry, Aug 18, 2012.

Definitely experiment with some cheap french pinot just to get a glimpse at what it is, louis jadot, or even louis latour could do the trick. 

Others may prove this wrong, but this is really the hardest grape to find good examples of for under say $30-40

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Reply by gregt, Aug 18, 2012.

Actually Lefty, now that I think of it, you may be in luck. One of the criticisms of much CA PN is that it's over ripe and over extracted. I'm not sharing that criticism, just stating it. If people think the only model is Burgundy, then much of what comes from CA is in fact quite different, and ditto that from Oregon and Washington. 

However, that may be just what you like. It's not cheap, but look for something from Brian Loring say, or Siduri. They make PN like it was grown in warm CA, not like it came from Burgundy. It's darker and meatier than some people like, but if they don't compare it to something else and try it on its own, it's fine. And I think you'd prefer those to some from Burgundy, which is typically lighter in weight. Jon suggested a few of those above, and they might provide you a kind of general idea.  Then try the domestics and see which type you'd prefer.

 

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Reply by outthere, Aug 18, 2012.

Others may prove this wrong, but this is really the hardest grape to find good examples of for under say $30-40

Pinot Noir is one of those grapes that takes real winemaking in order to have a good finished product. So many people producing the juice but few get how to do it right. Seems the most popular versions in the US are over-extracted, over-vinified, man handled fruit bombs.  Cherry Coke anyone?

There are winemakers who get it right. Wells Guthrie of Copain, Ted Lemmon of Littorai, Fred Scherrer of  Scherrer, Tom Dehlinger of Dehlinger and Rod Berglund of Joseph Swan among others produce Pinots that age very well and are varietally correct. But you have to pay the price.

Getting into Pinot by drinking grocery store faire is a disservice to the grape. From your description I would say your palate isn't tuned to Pinot anyway. But there are penty of choices out there that will produce the mouthfeel and some of the flavor profile you are looking for. They are not what I would call "representative" of the variety though.

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Reply by outthere, Aug 18, 2012.

Like GregT just mentioned, Loring Wine Co does some bigger PNs. Lorings "The Three" would confuse some to think it was Zinfandel.

While Adam Lee does some warm climate Central Coast PNs in the Siduri lineup he also uses cooler climate locations as well such as Keefer Ranch and Hirsch but for the most part his wines are on the bigger side. Yet they show excellent balance so they could be a good option for you. He offers a couple Oregon wines from the Willamette Valley.

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Reply by jamessulis, Aug 18, 2012.

GregT, LOL, hah...............you're funny. I do plan to open my bottle of Firesteed Pinot Noir and I'm sure that my first love will remain the Cabernet's.

My favorite meat is Beef but occasionally I enjoy pork or chicken so the assumption is that I am not really looking for a Pinot Noir to taste like a Cabernet or any other wine, just different. I'll keep everyone posted.

Thanks for all the great information on this post and I hope this post continues because you never have enough information to choose from.

Lefty

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Reply by duncan 906, Aug 18, 2012.

 Burgundy is considered by many to be the world's finest wine and certainly one of my favourites.Red Burgundy is the perfect accompaniment to steak or roast beef.It is interesting that when President Obama visited Buckingham Palace for the weekend Her Majesty served Burgundy at the official State dinner.I have had Pinot Noir from other regions but it rarely comes close

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Reply by jamessulis, Aug 18, 2012.

The wine served at Buckingham Palace was Echezeaux Grand Cru 1990 a French Burgundy which sells for approximately $1500 American dollars if you could still buy it today. I'm sure the Queen has a stash somewhere where they draw upon for such special occasions as dignataries from other countries visit her Majesty.

At $1500 dollars I'm sure it would be acceptable to many palates. (God save the Queen)

 

Lefty - The Great Pacific Northwest

           Where exceptional regional Pinot Noir's retail for under $100 a bottle

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Reply by gregt, Aug 18, 2012.

I'm sure she has a stash somewhere!

But Lefty - it's $1500 because people will pay that, not because it's intrinsically worth that if you didn't have the label but you just had a glass in front of you. Over the past 20 years, the prices of those wines have escalated because more people have started to drink wine and the competition for a few bottles has become really fierce.

Burgundy is cold and gloomy when compared to much of California. The grapes don't get the same sunshine and don't become nearly as ripe. As a result, much wine from CA is very different. That does NOT mean it's worse. It just means it reflects its terroir and that terroir has plenty of sunshine. It would be absurd for a grape not to behave differently in different environments, so the PN from the Northwest won't be like the PN from north France whatever you do. Nor should it be.

Given what you like, I'm thinking that you'll be fine with the CA and WA versions of Pinot Noir and there's no reason you shouldn't be. Some people are growing PN in cooler regions and picking earlier, etc., in an attempt to mimic the Burgundian style, but they're not Burgundy, they're California or Oregon or Washington and to me it seems absurd to try replicating something else rather than putting out what you can do in your region.  And kidding aside, there are some pretty good PNs around.  I'm not a fan of the huge style but I'm not a fan of Burgundy either - I guess I'm a wuss about it but I like something somewhere in the middle.

 

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Reply by JonDerry, Aug 19, 2012.

And what's interesting is that Burgundian styled CA Pinot Noir may be just the middle ground you're talking about! 

 

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Reply by duncan 906, Aug 19, 2012.

The point is that Mr Obama was not just any visiting Head of State but the US president so only the best would do and the best is Burgundy.When there is such a distiguished guest it is unlikely that any host would serve whatever is 3 for £10 at the local supermarket that week.What would my fellow Snoothers have served?

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Reply by JonDerry, Aug 19, 2012.

What strikes me as an interesting phenomenon regarding CA/WA Pinot Noir is that the pricing isn't cheap, but it stays relatively in check, as opposed to the Cult Cabernet pricing and the highly acclaimed/sought after WA Syrah (Bionic Frog, Cayuse, No Girls, etc.). In fact, does anyone know the highest priced CA/OR Pinot Noir? This would not include any WOTY's like the Kosta Browne, though they still may qualify, but just the highest priced Pinot priced high year after year. Good Pinot seems to easily fetch $50-60, but has a hard time getting over $100, which of course is a good thing.

Duncan, that's an interesting question about what you'd serve at a presidential dinner. It would probably depend on a lot on what country you'd want to represent. I know Shafer Hillside Select and Schramsberg have had a pretty good history of being served at these types of dinners for CA wines. Not really sure what I would serve...if money weren't a consideration I'm sure I'd do a bunch of tasting to find out what wines I liked best. So far this year an 05' Leoville Poyferre sticks out as a wine I really liked, but I haven't had true a "wow" wine in quite some time. 

Lola P, interesting you throw in the link to BYU football in the context of Pinot Noir, I guess Football season is rampin' up! I'm actually studying NFL players on the side here to get ready for my fantasy league.

 

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Reply by outthere, Aug 19, 2012.

I'd have to assume that Marcassin is up amongst the priciest, in CA anyhow. Helen's Blue Slide Ridge is $200.

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Reply by JonDerry, Aug 19, 2012.

In a retail shop, they're in the $300+ range. I remember seeing the label recently but not knowing what it was. Kind of a shame to see someone as respected as Turley to get into this cult profiteering. Too bad, too since I'd like to try the wine but it's out of range.

Found a video of her and husband during the 2006 Marcassin harvest:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWqH9X_5Myw

Also, forgot about Seasmoke:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M36ei-1K0dM

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