Both as a followup to my own comment about Niagara, ON Pinot Noirs and as a prelude to my second sojourn to the annual California Wine Fair tonight, I had the good fortune of being able to taste a high-end Niagara, ON Pinot Noir besides a relatively equal California Pinot Noir. I shall mention the name of neither to avoid embarassing anyone. All I have to say is, wow, anything I had against Niagara Pinot Noir has been magnified a million times over.
See, I’ve always had the opportunity to try Niagara Pinots against each other and Cali Pinots against each other separately… but never one vs. the other at the same time. The closest I ever came to comparing Pinot Noirs from different regions was my first offline from last year that Mike Grammer invited me to where we compared Oregon, California and French Pinot Noirs to each other (I believe it was a Burgundy but could be mistaken) and the French was far and away the superior Pinot followed by the Cali and lastly the Oregon.
This was even less of a contest. Side by side, the Niagara Pinot had a muted nose, a thin and watery body that seemingly couldn’t contain the alcohol, and unripe dull flavors.
The Cali Pinot, on the other hand had a fruity nose, substantially more body and texture in the mouth, and ripe fruit flavors. Yes, it had a bit of that cherry cola aspect that drives many of you nuts. Yes, you could label it as a fruit and alcohol bomb. I’ll take that it over the complete lack of substance and flavor in the Niagara Pinot any time.
This is kind of like the time where I tried an Alsacian Pinot Gris for the first time followed by a Niagara Pinot Gris and I posted on how I finally “got” the whole Beserkers thing after that experience. I have of course posted before on my feelings about Ontario vs Cali Pinot Noir in a previous thread but even still it was just startling to experience the differences of the two right beside each other.
Well, that got me primed and ready for the California Wine Fair tonight. Last year as a newbie, I focused on Chardonnays and Cabernets and learned quite a bit which I posted about here. This year, I’ll be going for Zinfadels, Pinots (Gris and Noir), Merlots, Tempranillos and of course any and all sweet wines available.
I will be skipping the Cabs completely and may try a few Chardonnays just for fun, but I feel there’s no point in repeating last year’s routine. Nothing new in terms of learning for me and nothing new for Berserkers. I will of course report back on my findings later tonight.