Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pinot Noir Season

I don't know what it is that makes October pinot noir season, but it's always around now that I start to break out the reds in earnest again and the pinot noir is always the first off the shelf. The crisp acidity and earthy flavors somehow compliment this brisk NYC air.
Bryce Vineyard Willamette Valley 2004 **** From a four acre vineyard (planted by hand, FYI) in the Ribbon Ridge AVA, which is tended by family, this pinot noir is young and vibrant without being fruity. Sweet tannins and fresh underlying acidity, with mild earth notes on on the finish. Cellar selection.
St. Innocent "Temperance Hill Vineyard" Willamette Valley 2002 *** Deep garnet color. Boysenberry in the middle with mild cedar and pine notes on the finish. Reminds me why I love Oregon. Cellar selection.
David Bruce Central Coast 2006 * Ruby color. Red jammy fruits, but there is some wet earthy complexity here too. 
Sea Smoke "Botella" Santa Rita Hills 2004. Caught a whiff of Manishewitz here when I opened it. This is not my style of wine. It's sweet and plump and that pretty much covers everything else up. I have to admit I am in the minority in not enjoying this wine. Most people seem to like this a lot. I'm just not one of them. Maybe it just needs more time to drop its baby fat and allow some secondary flavors to emerge. In any event ... I'd also note that I've tasted the "Southing" and "Ten". The "Southing" 2004 is the second wine, much better with less sweet fruit and more balance, but still not worth the mega scores from the mega critics in my opinion. The "Ten" is the first wine. It is an outstanding wine, well balanced and earthy, but it still lacks the complexity of a grand cru Burgundy. 

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