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Pinot Noir – Burgundy vs. California

No doubt, the movie Sideways did a lot to bolster the sales of Pinot a few years ago and while I’m not at all a fan of the movie’s impact on wine sales (it shows we as a culture are too easily talked into what to drink), I do like a good pinot.

To wine fans around the world, Burgundy will always remain the undisputed Pinot king as the vineyards there and the way they’ve been made into world-class wines far superceeds even the very existence of our great nation. When I think of good American Pinot, I’m drawn to areas like the Willamette Valley in Oregon as well as California’s Central Coast region – so it was a no-brainer for me to match up a couple of different Pinot’s that arrived in the past couple of weeks.

2007-burg-cali-shootout_s

I also realize that no matter what the outcome of this review, that I’ll end-up pissing-off either the new-world or old-world folks – but frankly, I don’t care. I’m all about the wine, regardless of where it came from and you should be as well.

2007 Bouchaine Pinot Noir – Carneros – W.E.P. Rating: 90%

Technical Data:

Appellation: Carneros
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Alcohol: 14.1%
Maturation: 10 to 11 months in French and Hungarian oak barrels, approximately 30% new
Clones include: Dijon, Pommard and Swan Selection
Price: $30
  • Appellation: Carneros
  • Varietal: Pinot Noir
  • Alcohol: 14.1%
  • Maturation: 10 to 11 months in French and Hungarian oak barrels, approximately 30% new
  • Clones include: Dijon, Pommard and Swan Selection
  • Price: $30

Nose: Nose: Cherries, vanilla, cranberry, wild game and ink.

Taste: Nice attack of blueberries, cherries and cranberry along with dots of vanila seeds on the front palate with a smooth, full-bodied transition into the mid-palate. Good hints of dirt and clay are here in the mid-area along with a nice touch of cedar. The finish is quite long – and good – this wine is a great representation of how good some of the Pinot’s are out of California.

2007 Bourgogne Pinot Noir: W.E.P. Rating: 85%
Technical Data:

  • Wine Type: Dry Red
  • Grape Type: 100% Pinot Noir.
  • Country: France
  • Region: Burgundy
  • Alcohol: 12.5%
  • Price: $25

Nose: Cedar chips, brussel sprouts, white pepper, one of those “little-tree” car freshners with the “new car scent”.
Taste: Obvious cedar notes coming thruough along with a nice hint of cranberry oceanspray. A good mid-palette transistion into some of the classic – what I refer to as – “French green” like asparagus tips and brussel sprouts. The finish is a bit thin for me and definitely lacks that smooth finish that so many “New world” wine drinkers look for. Instead, you have some acidity that’s ripping thru; making for a rather food-friendly wine.

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