Tag Archive | "pinot noir"

Elqui Wines hand-made Pinot Noir Setup

Winemaker, Steffan Jorgenson, of Chilean Elqui Wines, sends this picture of its newly acquired – hand made- crush system for Pinot Noir:

Elqui Wines hand-made Pinot Noir Setup

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Review: 2005 Panther Creek Willamette Valley Reserve Pinot

By Duane Pemberton
Winery website: http://panthercreekcellars.com

Located in McMinnville, Oregon, Panther Creek Cellars has become one of the “go-to” pinot producers of the Willamette Valley because of its continued quality in a variety of price points.

This reserve bottling combines top fruit from various vineyards across the Willamette Valley.

Review: 2005 Panther Creek Willamette Valley Reserve Pinot

Technical Data: 

  • Appellation: Willamette Valley
  • Alcohol: 13.80%
  • Composition: 100% pinot noir
  • Aging: 16 months in French Oak – 30% new
  • $60.00 bottle

Nose: Rubber tire, cranberry pie filling, band-aid, white peppercorns, cedar smoke and a nice hint of tar bubble.

Taste: Stellar flavors of cedar plank, cranberry, smoked raspberry, rubber stamp, allspice and pepper. This is a very well structured pinot in that it hits you with a nice fruit-forward approach with a mid-palate that perks up more condensed flavors and acids. The finish lingers for weeks and simply begs for roasted primal cuts of meat or smoked salmon.

W.E.P. Rating: 90%

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Review: 2009 Acrobat Wines

For most Northwest wine lovers, the great state of Oregon produces some of their favorite Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris wines and there’s no mystery as to why. Oregon is a world class producer of both of these varietals and has done a stellar job with them so far.

King Estate has a label called Acrobat that helps them meet a lower price-point – which in this economy, is a good thing.

2009 Acrobat Pinot Gris – W.E.P. Rating: 90%

Technical Data:

  • Alcohol: 12.5%
  • TA: 0.57 g/100ml
  • pH: 3.28
  • Residual sugar: .54%
  • Production: 30,000 cases
  • Fermentation: 100% stainless
  • Aging: 100% sur lie for three months
  • Price: $11.99

Nose: Green apple, lemon zest, spice with kiwi, honeydew melon and mango.

Taste: Definitely get a nice combination of green apples that have been hit with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice. Get some very nice pear, kiwi and baking spice notes coming through on the finish. Good mouthfeel and overall acidity make this a very nice drinker.

2009 Acrobat Pinot Noir – W.E.P. Rating: 90%

Technical Data:

  • Alcohol: 13.0%
  • TA: 0.545g/100ml
  • pH: 3.56
  • Production: 18,000 cases
  • Fermentation: 100% Stainless – punched down 2-3 times per day
  • Aging: 6 months on French Oak – 15% new, 21% one year, 30% 2 year and 34% 3 year.
  • Price: $18

Nose: Dried cranberries, cherry-sauce, white pepper, star wars action figure, rhubarb and white peppercorns.

Taste: I definitely get the peppered cranberry action coming through right off the bat. Bright acids and young tannins do bring a bit of the “pucker-action” that I’m sure many folks won’t like, however, to me – it makes this a very food-friendly wine. While it is showing rather young right now it is still in many ways quite approachable. A good effort and one that I’d like to taste with another year or so in the bottle.

On the web: http://www.kingestate.com/wine/#acrobat

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Review: 2008 Ghost Hill Pinot Noir

Ghost Hill Cellars is really all about the history of the land it sits on which was first bought back in 1906 by the Bayliss family. Even thought it has changed formats during its 100-year tenure – going from dairy to growing grapes – is history is very much a part of what’s in the bottle.

Winemaker, Rebecca Marie, tries her best to pay homage to the land and its history by not getting in the way of what the grapes want to say each vintage. Her wine tends to lean a bit more to the “old world” style where we find higher acids and lower alcohol which I’m always a big fan of.

Review: 2008 Ghost Hill Pinot Noir

Technical Data:

  • Varietal Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
  • Appellation: Yamhill-Carlton District
  • Harvest Date: October 12, 2008
  • PH: 3.6
  • Barrel Aging: 12 months 13%-New Oak
  • Ageability: 7-10 years
  • Bottling Date: November 18, 2009
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Price: $42

Nose: Cranberries, bacon-fat, sour cherries, black pepper and a hint of squash.

Taste: Smokey beef jerky with some nice notes of cedar, allspice, anise and cranberry sauce. Super tight tannins speak to the youth of this wine – it has really nice acids as well. Tons of aging potential on this wine and frankly, I think it kicks more ass than the ghost of Gary Coleman all hopped up on smack. Very approachable now with a good decant and would probably be sublime in another 6-7 years or so.

W.E.P. Rating: 95%

On the web: http://www.ghosthillcellars.com

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Review: A pair of Panther Creek 2007 Pinot Noir’s

By Duane Pemberton
Winery website: www.panthercreek.com

Panther Creek, located in McMinnville Oregon, is passionate about its wine and that passion leads them to source fruit from some of that state’s top vineyard spots who are operated by folks who have a similar passion. Its Pinot Noir has garnered a large number of accolades over the years and has been some of my personal favorite since first tasting them a couple of years ago.

Review: A pair of Panther Creek 2007 Pinot Noir’s

2007 Freedom Hills Pinot Noir – W.E.P. Rating: 100%

Technical Data:

  • Appellation: Willamette Valley
  • Alcohol: 14.10%
  • Composition: Pinot Noir: 100% Freedom Hill Vineyard
  • $40.00 bottle

Nose: Sharpie pen, burnt tire, cranberries, sour cherry, wet cedar and currant.

Taste: Black sour cherries and cranberries hit the front palate with authority. Next up, on the mid-palalte is the flavors of some leather, tobacco, cedar, dark chocolate and the sharpie pen. Good finish that hangs out for awhile and finishes with all kinds of stellar, tart red fruits.

2007 Verde Vineyards Pinot Noir – W.E.P. Rating: 75%

Technical Data:

  • Appellation: Willamette Valley
  • Alcohol: 12.90%
  • Composition: Pinot Noir: 40% Momtazi Vineyard, 30% Temperance Hill Vineyard, and 30% Elton Vineyard
  • $35.00 bottle

Nose: Dried cherries, lavender, shoe polish, cranberries, cinnamon and a touch of cedar.

Taste: Good red fruit on the attack of cherry and cranberries and some nice hints of vanilla and Christmas spices as well. Good mid palate tranisition with both acidity and tannins holding together, however, the finish is actually a bit short for me. Overall, this isn’t a bad pinot for $35 but there are others I’d seek out in its price range.

On the web: www.panthercreekcellars.com

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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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Tenspoon Pinot – Montana teams with Oregon

Ten spoon winemaker, Andy Sponseller, derived his passion for winemaking in the “God-forsaken wine-grape land” of Montona – a state that’s not known for growing good wine grapes. What Andy does have to work with, however, is some amazing fruits like cherries, raspberries and pears.

His belief that less is more in winemaking really presents itself well across his entire range of wines (I’ve tasted through most of them now) and is clear in this Pinot Noir. He sources grapes from vineyard sites in the famous Williamette Valley in Oregon, has them shipped to Missoula Montana where his magic on them starts to unfold.

Not only does Andy source organic fruit he also never puts additional sulfites (all wines have naturally occuring sulfites) into the wines.

Price: $22.00

Nose: Bacon, baked beans, blueberry, cranberry, rhubarb pie, capers and a slight dill hint.
Taste: Excellent amounts of green rhubarb combined with blueberries, tart cherries and capers – good acidity helps this wine with a variety of foods; salmon and rare flank steak come to mind. A very rhone-style pinot that I know a lot of old-world Pinot lovers will dig-on. This pinot shows Montana has a lot of promise and I personally look forward to more of what they can do with this noble grape.

Nose: Bacon, baked beans, blueberry, cranberry, rhubarb pie, capers and a slight dill hint.

Taste: Excellent amounts of green rhubarb combined with blueberries, tart cherries and capers – good acidity helps this wine with a variety of foods; salmon and rare flank steak come to mind. A very rhone-style pinot that I know a lot of old-world Pinot lovers will dig-on. This pinot shows very well and  I personally look forward to more of what Ten Spoon can do with this noble grape; even if they do have to go to Oregon to get them!

W.E.P. Rating: 90%

Winery website: www.tenspoon.com

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2006 Argyle Reserve Pinot Noir – Review

Argyle winery in Oregon’s Williamette Valley is one of that state’s definitive wineries and has been leading the charge for Oregon grape varieties since 1987 – it has since established itself amongst the wine-drinking world as a staple producer of  pinot noir.

This winery owns and farms three vineyards: Knudsen Vineyard, Stroller and Lonestar vineyards – the grapes in its 2006 Reserve Pinot Noir are blended from all three.

Technical Data:
Varietals: Pinot Noir
Vineyard: Lone Star, Stoller, Kndsen
AVA: Willamette Valley
Alcohol: 14.5%
Brix: 23-24.5
Residual Sugar: None
Bottled: February 2008
Cases produced: 6450
Release date: May 2008
Winemaker: Rollin Soles

Nose: Dirty cranberry sauce – obnoxious amounts of dirt going on in this glass – I also pick up some nice bacon fat action as well. Huge amounts of chalk-dust as well. So the nose smells like someone sprinkled chalkdust and dirt into a bowl of dried cranberries.

Taste: Take an old chalk-laden cloth, mash-up some cranberries in it and then toss in a shot of liquid smoke. Good finish that lasts quite nicely with hints of some shoelace, big-league chew and cranberry. This is a very well-balanced Pinot that shows quite well for its price-point and will clearly appeal to those who prefer a slightly lighter pinot than others out there. Very food friendly – I’d have no problems pairing it with anything from seared sirloin tips to cedar plank salmon.

W.E.P. Rating: 90%

Winery website: http://argylewinery.com

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2006 Panther Creek Freedom Hill Pinot Noir – Review

According to Robert Parker, Panther Creek Cellars is ” one of the most consistent, high quality, Oregon wineries” and based on our initial samplings of its wines, could hardly disagree. 

Since 1986, this winery has been producing top-quality wines which showcase what the great state of Oregon can produce – Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It, like many other wineries, source all their fruit from local vineyards and have grape prices locked in with long-term contracts.

This particular Pinot Noir uses fruit from Freedom Hills Vineyard which is about 20miles (as the crow flies) from the winery – its owned by Dan and Helen Dusschee – who planted the grapes back in 1982. 

 

Technical Data:

  • Bottling Date:  April 10, 2008
  • Release Date:  September 1, 2008
  • Alcohol: 14.3 %
  • Aging: 16 months in French Oak, 30% new
  • Production: 980 cases 
  • Clones: Dijon clones 777, 114, 667, Pommard & Wadenswil
  • Soil type: Sedimentary Bellpine soils
  • PH: 3.66. 
  • Titratable acidity at bottling was .53 g/100ml.
  • Several blocks at Freedom Hill which were harvested from Sept 29th through Oct 3rd at 25.1 to 26.1 brix…Mostly in the low 25’s.

Nose: Cranberries, dirt, fresh road-kill, white pepper, bacon and tar – I also pick up some dark cherries on the end of the nose. This is one of the few pinot’s I’ve had that makes me want to just sit around with my nose all up in it – smelling it for an hour before I even taste it. 

Taste: Beautiful cranberry-sauce, blackberry pie crust, wild game, blackberries, gooseberries, elderberries and a rediculous mouth-feel make this one of the truly more memorable pinot’s I’ve had. The finish has killer hang-time and quite simply lasts a long time. It’s a serious Pinot that could be a gateway wine for those new into the world of Pinot and want to experience what this grape is all about. I realize that at $40, it’s on the higher-end of the price scale, but I’d highly encourage you to splurge on yourself once in a while – especially if it means you get to try a wine like this. As far as pinot pricing goes (it’s not cheap to make great pinot), I feel Panther Creek is on track.

W.E.P. Rating: 100%

Winery website: www.panthercreekcellars.com

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2006 Ventana Vineyards Pinot Noir

 

Winery Website: www.ventanawines.com

We’ve reviewed a few wines so far from Ventana Vineyards and have yet to be disappointed by any of them thus far. I’m a huge fan of the California Costal Pinot so it was with some slight anticipation that I drank this wine. There’s something rockin’ about the pinot from that region which keep it on the forefront of pinot sales at large.

Click to Enlarge

Technical Data:

  • Vineyard: Ventana Vineyards Soil Type – Calcareous composition of alluvial deposit with rock and gravel
  • Barrels: French Oak
  • Vintage: 2006
  • Wine Type: Red Wine
  • Varietal: Pinot Noir
  • Appellation: Arroyo Seco
  • Acid: .53 g/ 100ml
  • PH: 3.85
  • Fermentation: 100% Barrel Fermented
  • Alcohol %: 13.5
  • Price: $28

Nose: Huge cranberry, and dried cherry component on the nose – very much reminds me of home-made cranberry Sauce.

Taste: Cranberry spice with hints of toasty oak… some firepit ash, floods of dried berries, chocolate and cherries abound – the finish lingers on very well. This is a well-made Pinot that’s very food-friendly and one that I’d quite frankly recommend; especially to those folks out there who may still be struggling with the whole pinot thing – yes, some of them exist, in spite of that stupid movie, Sideways.

W.E.P. Rating: 100%

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Review: Yamhill 2005 Estate Pinot Noir

I have to be honest in that I got a bit bummed out the way other varietals got slammed in the movie sideways and how the film elevated Pinot Noir to a very noble status. I’m not suggesting that it’s not a noble grape, however, am just saying that I think that film in particular took it a bit too far.

Most folks I know adore the Bordeaux red varietals far more than from Burgundy which is a bit of a bummer for me as I feel there are a lot of folks missing the boat when it comes to expanding their palate with some of the wonderful fruit of Burgundy.

I recently picked up this Yamhill Pinot at a local store and got a heckuva deal at only $15 – it normally sells for $22-$26. As of this review, the winery is sold out and has since moved this wine into a “Library status” which means it’ll cost more from them but there should still be a lot left out at various retailers.

Color: Dark ruby red.

Nose: Dried cranberries, cedar box, cloves, wet clay, toasted pine nuts, grilled zucchini, anise, hint of brussel sprout.

Taste: Has a truck-load of dried, slightly-toasted cranberries which have been sitting around in an old cedar box. Black cherry Cragmont pop (if you know this brand, then you too are old like me), clove, bacon fat and white pepper- almost a similar finish to some zins I’ve had – a bit jammy, which I’m digging.

Heats up a bit on the mid-palate, but smooth, long black-cherries on the finish.

Overall Summary:
This wine represents a decent effort on the part of Yamhill – I can’t say it’s worth the normal asking price to me as there are other wines I’d rather have in that price-range. That said, I can really see this wine appealing greatly to Pinot-lovers and/or fans of the film sideways. It’s so much better of a Pinot than your typical “grocery store label” – you know, the cheap Mondavi’s, Duck Pond and even some of the lower-end Erath’s.

If you can find this wine under $20, then I’d say you should really give it a go and check it out.

This is my take on it, however, you really owe it to yourself to try this wine and ultimately embrace your own palate.

Foods to go with this:
Spiral ham with an apricot/raisin and clove glaze
Spinach Salad which is blended with thin slices of granny smith apple, red onion with a honey-brown-mustard vinaigrette .
Cedar plank Salmon
Pork Chop mixed with cooked apples glazed in brandy with Rosemary

Posted in Oregon Wines, Pinot Noir, ReviewsComments (0)