Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Winding Down a Year of Pinot Noir

In 2012 I tasted more pinot noir than any other wine. Out of the nearly 700 wines I wrote down, 107 were pinot noir, and that doesn't even include Champagne and other sparkling wines that often contain a certain percentage of pinot noir.

Basically, what I'm saying is: I love pinot noir. And you should too.

I wrapped up 2012 with four different pinot noirs from four different regions. Each bottle was yummy, and, taken as a whole, they demonstrate the inexhaustibility of good pinot noir.

2005 Coelho Winery Pinot Noir Paciência
(Oregon, Willamette Valley)
It's got this pretty, Burgundian look, very clear and bright. A burst of bright, sweet strawberries, red licorice and tons of dried roses on the nose. What a nose, especially with a few hours open. On the palate, the fine tannins and bright acid combine to form a really silky mouthfeel. Snappy red cranberries meet potting soil and rhubarb flavors. There's a kick of dill that carries onto the finish, which I really enjoy. A very brisk pinot. It's got the bright red fruit and acid of a Beaune red, but some nice Willamette Valley love. While I really like this, I'm not sure I'd age it for more than two more years. 89 points

2009 Dept. C Pinot Noir Paraiso Vineyard
(California, Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands)
I really liked this pinot noir's more nuanced approach. Aromas of smoky red fruit, toast, raspberry jam and a hint of lavender. Full of sappy red fruit on the palate (sour cherry, pomegranate), and some savory herbs as well. Full but not cloying. Seems like it could improve well over the next three or so years. 88 points

2009 Joseph Drouhin Chorey-les-Beaune
(France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chorey-les-Beaune)
Medium ruby colored. Nose isn't too exciting, showing sweet cherries, raspberries and hints of earth. On the palate, this pinot shows bright, tangy red fruit, like cranberries and sour cherries, mixed in with some sweet strawberries. Mediuim tannins, medium acid, medium depth. It's a fun pinot, but lacking a bit of verve or excitement to get me really into it. Some nice toast and mocha on the finish. Maybe time will help a bit? On sale for $22, not a bad buy. 86 points

2009 Domaine David Clark Côte de Nuits Villages
(France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Nuits Villages)
As far as $30 Burgundies go, this is actually really good. I really liked the 2008, and I think I like this even better. Aromas of smoky red cherries, rose petals and mushrooms. On the palate, this is light and elegant, yet generous in its flavors. Bright cherry fruit for structure, fresh acid, fine tannins and loads of seconday earthy and mushroom flavors. Delicious stuff that I'd like to revisit in two or three years. 90 points

2013 is now here, and I’m really looking forward to drinking more delicious pinot noirs this year. Hope you’re planning to do the same. Cheers!

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