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My Pinot Moment

On Thursday, December 9th interested people will tweet on Twitter about their Pinot Moment. A Pinot moment is the first time that Pinot Noir left an impression. Although I’ve had Pinot Noirs for years my Pinot moment came on March 28th 2008 at Erath Winery in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. The weather was changeble by the minute. I took a photo of the stainless steel tanks that were outside. There were blue skies and clouds in the photo. We then went into the barrel room where David Foulke discussed the winemaking philosophy. We were in the barrel room for about ten minutes. When we exited there was a whiteout. One could not see the neighboring vineyard about 50 yards away.

Through the snow we made it to the tasting room. On this visit we tasted five different Pinot Noirs in the Oregon Pinot Noir glass by Riedel. The wine was great. Some of the Pinots were blends from different vineyards and blocks while other were vineyard designated. These Pinots were not whimpy kool aid-like. They were dark ruby and full bodied with plenty of different fruit layers and tannins. When a winery makes five wines out of a single grape variety, you know that you are in a region where that varietal grape does well.

On that trip we visited other Willamette Valley wineries. The Pinots were excellent. Unfortunately, my view of Pnots elswhere are somewhat tainted by the Oregon Pinots that do a better job matching the profile of Pinots that I like.  Recently in New Zealand I had the opportunity to taste several Pinot Noirs from different producers in Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough regions. These are different from Oregon Pinots specifically much more minerality especially flint. But there were a couple that matched my tasting profile preference. The one that was the best match was the Greywacke 2009 Pinot Noir. I liked the cedar and cherry nuances.


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