TN: Pinot Noir - Anywhere but Europe

Notes from a distanced al fresco tasting of Pinot Noirs from anywhere but Europe.

To wet our whistles and whet our wits we sampled a couple of unrelated whites.

2018 Phantom Creek Pinot Gris – from BC, this was made using natural yeasts, and was held on oak for 10 months. It had a reticent nose at first, but then gave up some vanilla and tropical fruit and had a dry, clean finish. It developed some smokiness as well as saltiness which added interest. Apparently they are consulting with Olivier Humbrecht.

2014 Jean-Claude Ramonet Bouzeron – lemon nose, good acidity, rich in the mouth and a lean, long finish. Unusual in being made entirely from Aligote.

2011 Foxtrot Pinot Noir Henricsson Vineyard – I have long considered this to be the best Pinot Noir made in BC. Somewhat dark with a nice berry and spice nose, with some vanilla, Smooth across the palate and good length. Well made and holding nicely. No rush.

2013 Rochioli Russian River Valley Pinot Noir – a lighter, more delicate nose on this one, medium body and with a significant amount of tannin. A tad stemmy, but not excessively so, and with a long clean finish. Excellent wine.

2007 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Pinot Noir Laurène – medium colour and with a slightly funky Burgundian nose, with mixed tar and cocoa notes. It seemed a tad ripe at first but really wasn’t. Good solid wine.

2016 Craggy Range Pinot Noir Single Vineyard Te Muna Road Vineyard – interesting brown sugar and mint nose – this was one that wouldn’t be mistaken for a Burgundy! Sweet in the mouth and ending with medium length.

2012 Littorai Pinot Noir Roman Vineyard – this Anderson Valley Pinot was a serious full bodied example with a nose primarily of cherry but with some spice in mid-palate. Wonderfully harmonious wine.

A successful varietal tasting with representatives from BC, Oregon, California, and New Zealand. I thought about popping a cork on an Australian Pinot but that will have to wait until next time.

Next up will be Chateauneuf-du-pape tasting (Rhone is the largest single sub region in my cellar) and we just have to find a sunny day, which can be a challenge around here and usually results in only a day or two notice. One of our members challenged the wine gods (or maybe weather gods) by putting the roof of his car down before coming over yesterday.

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