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All over the place with Pinot Noir

Denise and Shane came over this weekend to check out the new house.  After touring the interior and exterior with a glass of NV Pommery, Brut Royal, Champagne we settled down in the living room.  Here we tasted through a variety of Pinot Noir wines.  This was my second time drinking the 2001 Domaine Serene, Pinot Noir, Evenstad Reserve Willamette Valley.  I think it is drinking great right now with good presence of mature aromas and flavors.  There is some distracting heat in the finish, the absence of which would elevate the wine, but does not prevent any enjoyment.  I was completely surprised and disappointed by the 2003 Archery Summit, Pinot Noir, Arcus Estate Willamette Valley.  This was a strong wine with aromas and flavors evocative of an oaked Australian wine. Once past the nose it was more attractive in the mouth but not my style of wine.  Our bottle of 2005 Amalie Robert, Pinot Noir, Amalie’s Cuvee, Willamette Valley was a tart and sour mess making it undrinkable.

I then opened up two bottles from Anthill Farms.  We drank up the regular Sonoma Coast with dinner so I did not bother to take a note.  The 2013 Anthill Farms, Pinot Noir, Campbell Ranch Vineyard, Sonoma Coast opened up on the second night.  There was that brighter, new wave sort of nose but in the mouth were surprising savory, weighty flavors with attractive minerality.  In the end this should become a lovely wine after further aging.  Finally, I opened a bottle of 2012 Shelter Winery, Pinot Noir, Lovely Lily, Baden for my second experience.  I rather enjoyed the 2011 vintage but the 2012 just does not hold the same level of interest.

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2001 Domaine Serene, Pinot Noir, Evenstad Reserve Willamette Valley – $30
This wine is 100% Pinot Noir that was fermented in stainless steel then aged for 12 months in roughly 90% new French oak.  Alcohol 14.1%.  The rose revealed mature aromas of red fruit, spices, vanilla, and sweet cedar.  In the mouth were powdery, ripe strawberry flavors that mixed with maturity.  There was a rounded start with weighty flavors and a little glycerin.  With air the maturity came through as well as riper fruit.  The wine picked up some heat and roughness in the finish which, in being a touch distracting, prevented a higher rating.  *** Now-2017.

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2003 Archery Summit, Pinot Noir, Arcus Estate Willamette Valley – $40
This wine is 100% Pinot Noir that was fermented in both wood and stainless steel fermenters using indigenous yeasts.  It was aged for 11 months in 75% new French oak.  Alcohol 14.5%.  There was a powerful nose of roast which reminded me of a big, oaked Australian wine that did not age well.  The flavors were better but delivered in a full-bore manner.  This grippy, robust, dark fruited wine was just too much for me. * Now but will last.

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2005 Amalie Robert, Pinot Noir, Amalie’s Cuvee, Willamette Valley – $20
Alcohol 13.2%.  The tart red aromas smelled past prime.  In the mouth, the tart and sour red fruit flavors was way beyond drinking.  Not drunk so not rated.

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2013 Anthill Farms, Pinot Noir, Campbell Ranch Vineyard, Sonoma Coast – $46
This wine is 100% Pinot Noir sourced from 14 year old vines vines located with a few miles of the Pacific Ocean at 750 feet. Alcohol 12.9%.  There were brighter, red fruit and varietal aromas.  In the mouth the weightier flavors were surprising.  The wine was savory with brighter and mineral, black fruit that became dry in the finish.  It did show some tart, red flavors as the nose would indicate, with plenty of acidity.  An attractive wine that needs time and air.  ***(*) 2016-2020.

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2012 Shelter Winery, Pinot Noir, Lovely Lily, Baden – $18
Imported by T. Elenteny Imports.  This wine is 100% Pinot Noir.  Alcohol 13%.  A pleasant enough delicate nose of green house aromas and red fruit.  The hard red and tart fruit eventually drank better with watering acidity, lighter flavors, and an interesting mix of chalky minerals and tannins.  ** Now.

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Pinot Noir from Sancerre and Baden

September 10, 2014 Leave a comment

The two wines featured in this post are made from Pinot Noir located in regions where you might not expect to find it, Sancerre and Baden.  In the 19th century Sancerre was mostly planted with Pinot Noir and Gamay but this proportion changed with the phylloxera.  Today some 20% of the production is based on Pinot Noir.   It may seem incredible but Germany contains the third-largest plantings of Spatburgunder or Pinot Noir in the world.  One of the young, formally trained efforts are those of Shelter Winery.  This is the product of Hans-Bert Espe and Silke Wolf.  After attending Geisenheim wine university, they worked in Oregon then began making wine in a former Canadian Air Force bunker.  It was just over a decade ago that this beginning inspired the winery name.

The 2011 Shelter Winery, Lovely Lilly, Pinot Noir, Baden drank well over two nights.  On the first night there was a vibrancy that reminded me of German wines.  It showed a good balance of fruit, minerals, acidity, and mouth feel such that I suspect it will improve over the winter.  The price is attractive as well.  The 2012 Pascal et Nicolas Reverdy, Cuvee Terre  de Maimbray, Sancerre Rouge remained gentle and refused to give up hints of its future.  It remained a solid effort so perhaps its best to try again after the winter.  The Reverdy was purchased at Weygandt-Wines and the Shelter Winery at MacArthur Beverages.

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2011 Shelter Winery, Lovely Lilly, Pinot Noir, Baden – $19
Imported by T. Elenteny Imports.  This wine is 100% Pinot Noir.  Alcohol 13.5%.  There were greenhouse-infused aromas of clean red and black fruit with just hints of modern Pinot Noir aromas.  In the mouth the flavors turned black with minerals, all of which overlay strawberry notes.  The wine was vibrant the first night.  With air the acidity remained noticeable at first then the flavors rounded out in the middle before the youthful and robust finish.  This modern wine had salivating acidity, and a tangy aftertaste.  **(*) 2015-2019.

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2012 Pascal et Nicolas Reverdy, Cuvee Terre  de Maimbray, Sancerre Rouge – $30
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is 100% Pinot Noir soils from soils of clay and chalk.  Alcohol 13%.  The nose revealed red fruit that was slightly buttery.  In the mouth there were gentle flavors of strawberry and cherry with just hints of ripeness.  This was supported by a gentle and moderate structure.  A touch of fresh orange peel and minerality developed with air.  ** 2015-2018.

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