Tag Archives: pinot noir

Staff Pick: Acrobat Pinot Noir 2009

Wine: Acrobat 2009 Pinot Noir
Reviewer: Gwendolyn
Rating: 4 stars

Review: The Acrobat Pinot Noir is produced and bottled by King Estate winery, one of the more prominent wineries in Oregon. The color is a bright ruby, and clear (as in, you can see right through it). On the nose, I got lots of bright cherry, and I mean bright! Very fresh fruit, a touch of tobacco and sweet spices. The palate is almost zesty in its acidity. Again, this is a bright fruit wine – lots of fresh cherry and raspberry and a really lively acidity as its backbone. This is a light-bodied wine, one that is perfect with food (particularly food with acid) and a great red to drink in warm weather. Totally refreshing.

Read more of my reviews on my Wine.com community page.

Adelsheim 2008 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Wine: Adelsheim 2008 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Reviewer: Jason Carey
Paired with: Mediterranean Mezze Platter
Rating: 4 stars

Review: This is a gorgeous Pinot Noir for the price , showing just why  everybody is snapping at the 2008 Oregon wines.

They are structured, yet zingy with acidity. They are ripe but are not just about fruit. This is the entry level PN from Adelsheim, yet every year this bottle shows an elegance and purity that is hard to beat.

Adelsheim is known for its wines more on the lithe spectrum, along with Eyrie.

This particular wine starts with a nose has an interesting darker fruit component than normal for this cuvee, yet, as time moves on in the glass, it develops some earthy and cherry notes, along with a tiny bit of smoky pleasant oak, which does not intrude. There also is an interesting wee bit of chocolate and California Bay Leaf. This wine is stupendous on the nose.. really great. Upon entry to the palate, the wine has a powerful sour and sweet cherry sensation , along with a very smooth and elegant feel. It has a good whack of acidity (the sour cherry) and the spice coming from the tiny oak.  There is something very alluring about this wine, and shows how in this vintage this wine which is usually a good value is extra special..

This wine will develop over at leat 5-8 years into something really great, with many complex and alluring secondary characteristics,  but is hard to resist now.. a great wine for mediterranean fare, or duck. I have to agree with Wine and Spirits on this one. A warning however to those who like a bigger style, this is not that.

Bravo Adelsheim,  sweet fruit along with firm acidity.

This is what makes Oregon Pinot done right  a really wonderful thing.

Read more of my reviews on my Wine.com community page 

Adelsheim Pinot Noir 2008

I was on BART when I read this great wine article in the New York Times http://nyti.ms/hJNHAO. One of the wines, Adelsheim Pinot Noir 2008, was available in our Berkeley warehouse, so I bought two bottles. I brought one of them to a get-together last night.  There were four of us at the gathering, though only three drinking wine. So we poured three big glasses of this Pinot, which we paired with excellent pizzas … BBQ chicken and Vegetarian on whole wheat crust. 

I liked it … it’s a good Pinot, but not a phenomenal Pinot to me.  To be fair, the article really built up the vintage and called it superb. Again, they called the year of 2008 superb, not necessarily the wine. In fact, the judges described the Adelsheim as “lively and structured,” which it is.  But beware of the alcohol content – my partner and I woke up with a slight headache from our one big glass each.

 

When drinking the second bottle, I’ll be careful to share it between four instead of three and also try pairing it with something a bit more sweet and savory (like roasted pork with a fruit sauce)  to bring out more of the sweet notes.

 

Another Great Way to Explore Wine

As a long-term member of the "majority" of
oenophiles, defined as those individuals have have never tried a vertical of any fancy
wine or have 1,000 bottle wine cellars, I have been authorized (by myself) to invite anyone who's curious
about wine to join our group, like a jogger vs. runner, the distinction
is a state a mind. Oh and just to be clear, those of us who know which
years are "good years" and what to avoid or covet in wineshop, don't
actually buy or even try every bottle of wine, instead we cheat by
attending wine tastings.


This weekend, I attended the New Zealand Wine Discovery Tasting in San
Francisco. I seldom write tasting notes but I do make mental notes of
my general impressions and star my favorites. It's not laziness on my
part, but really it's about forcing wines to be memorable for good or
bad and taking away generalities that are much more useful than jotting
down 5 descriptors. I use this info to navigate menus and select from wines I've never tasted. So,
without further ado, I've laid out below my tasting plan of attack and
the mental notes that followed to show you how I add to my wine
knowledge without trying every bottle I see.

Attack Strategy #1: Scan the winery list. You might see wines you've always been curious about.

There has been a lot of buzz lately about pinot noirs from Central Otago, so
I gave them a try. I would have liked to have found a greater breadth
of aromatics and more substance. Nonetheless, I
found that Central Otago wines tended to have more complexity than
other regional wines, consequently, they would be great better with
food and at lower price points than quality pinot noir from California,
in other words, a good value. I liked the 2008 Matua Valley Central Otago Pinot Noir. Mental note to self: Central Otago = food/wallet compatible.

Attack Strategy #2 Taste the most expensive wines. This is often the best way to make sure your aren't disappointed later on.

In this case, the higher priced wines retailed around $36. They all turned out to be pretty good in terms of quality and given the pricing, as compared to top tier pinot, a good deal. Our favorite of the event turned out to be one of the most expensive at $37
a bottle (2008 Alana Estate Pinot Noir from Martinborough). For $37 and
up you get more tannic structure and finesse (in other words, it's not
quite as fresh and fruity). Mental note to self: Martinborough is producing some excellent and nuanced higher end pinots.

Attack Strategy#3 Experiment. Try the strangest wine you see on the list. Maybe it's from an obscure place or perhaps a variety you've never heard of.

We tried a brilliant 2008 Bordeaux blend from the tiny island of Waiheke produced by Man O' War called the Ironclad. Mental note to self: Waiheke Island is on my radar for Bordeaux blends.

Attack Strategy#4 Sample different regions and vintages

We tried side by side vintages of the 2007 and 2008 Tarras Vineyards
Pinot Noir from Central Otago. I enjoyed them both. I learned later
that 2007 is a great vintage for reds in New Zealand. Given a choice, I
would go for the 2007 if only because additional age rounds a wine out. Mental note to self: Don't fret over 2007 vs 2008 vintage for Central Otago pinot.

Attack Strategy#5: Sample different price points. I like knowing what another $5-10 gets me.

For this experiment I tried three lines of Brancott wines. First, I tasted the 2009 Brancott Sauvignon Blanc Malborough ($11). I got a lot of grassiness, grapefruit and perceptible sweetness. I like my wines a bit drier, however, it paired very well with oysters. Next we sampled the 2009 Brancott Reserve Sauvignon Blanc ($15). This wine was more weighty and less obvious in the nose, making room for more complex aromas. I think this one would pair much better with an entrée than the less expensive Brancott which is better suited to more casual occasions or a hot summer picnic. Finally, I tried the Brancott Letter Series 'B' Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough ($24). This is very good wine with an interesting minerality on the nose and good texture in the mouth, by far the best and pairs well with seafood and lighter pasta dishes. For these wines, I think it's important to decide what you personally enjoy. Some tasters love grapefruit aromas (one taster kept raving that "the
grapefruit just punches you in the nose"), whereas, I like less
violence and more minerality. Mental note to self: These start fruity and crisp and increase in weight, minerality and complexity for just a few dollars more.

Now get out there and start exploring!

The Wine Influence of TV

Last week, while my husband was in Bordeaux, drinking enough for the both of us, I went on a sabbatical from wine. Mostly to make sure I still could. While I managed the no alcohol policy for 9 months, that was over a year ago, and I've gotten well back into the swing of the wine world. And let's be honest, in the wine profession, it's easy to be 'over-served,' particularly in a household where both of us work in wine.

I aimed to make it a week, and was doing fine the first 4 nights, until I sat down with my sparkling water after dinner to watch a recorded episode of Cougar Town, the new show with Courtney Cox that comes on Wednesday nights, right after Modern Family – would never have thought to start watching this show, but since Modern Family is our new favorite, we've occasionally seen the first 10 minutes and I'll admit, I'm now hooked – it's programmed in the DVR. The episode to which I am referring had to do with wine. More specifically, giving up wine. While watching an entire half hour of people pouring, drinking and talking about wine, there comes a point where you REALLY just have to have a glass of wine.

It got me thinking about other movies and TV shows that have centered themselves around wine. I recall watching Sideways in the movie theatres and wishing I could flag down an usher for a glass. One of my favorite movies, French Kiss, is such a great movie about wine, making you also want to sip a glass in a vineyard in France. There's also A Good Year, with Russell Crowe, which, while not my favorite, does have a decent "garagiste" wine element to it.

TV shows for are out there, too – Frasier had quite a few wine references – Niles loved a good glass of Sherry and they did talk snooty wine talk occasionally – and the West Wing also had political (and relationship) talk over wine (or so I'm told – I admit I didn't watch it much). And now, there is Cougar Town, where Jules (the main character) pours her glass to the top and slurps the first sip with no hands. Classy stuff.

But now I'm curious. Can shows and movies be this tied to our cravings
for wine? It makes sense as marketers do it with commercials all the
time – from beer to sugary cereals, they are using images and dialogue
to spark our cravings.

So did I make it through the show without a glass of wine? Sadly, no. I succumbed to the urge and had a glass. But, knowing it would be just one glass, I went all out and had a big 'ole Pinot glass full of Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. It was quite good and totally worth it. You tend to want to drink better wine when you are limited to less consumption. And I was able to continue abstinence another 2 nights with no wine-oriented shows! 

And now I want to know what else is out there urging us to drink wine – are there any shows or movies that have sparked your craving for a glass? Or more?