WHEW. Started writing this all up over a month ago, and THEN...
Graduate school/everything else took over.
Excuses, excuses. I know...
I really wanted to make it a good post and go into some serious detail. I think the concept of "terroir" (see below)* is a facintaing one... Basically, how one can taste the "somewhereness"* of a wine.
(You know, in my defense, delayed feedback can be good for memory....)
Anyway, my perfectionist-tendencies kept me from returning to edit the post. I felt as though I needed to devote a long writing session to get all the details in that I wanted to include.
BUT, HEY. I could ALWAYS get more in-depth, so my cursory overview of the grape variety at hand will simply have to do...
For now, taking a break from manuscript writing (for a paper that is about learning by making mistakes) to answer a very important question:
This time, I knew they were all Pinot Noir, but from where?
Old world (Europe)? Could it be a Burgundy? What about a Pinot Nero from Northern Italy? Or even German Spatburgunder? AND, what about New World? A lovely, earthy yet very ripe Chilean Pinot? or Cailfornia, perhaps Russian River Valley in Sonoma, or what about the coast? Oh yeah, and New Zealand makes some great Pinots, too!
Click HERE to go back through my guesses...
Wine #25: 2009 Domaine Robert Gibourg Chorey-les-Beaune Le Grand Saussy, Cote de Beaune, France
READ: Bourgone Rouge (Red Burgundy)
Specifically, Chorey-Lès-Beaune, which is in the larger appelation of Cote du Beaune, which is typically famous for WHITE Burgundy (again, WHITE BURGUNDY = Chardonnay!). And as a reminder, the Cote du Beaune is one of the regions that make up the Cote d'Or.
Now, in my research, I've found that Chorey-Lès-Beaune is not known for being a "stunner" particularly because the soil here isn't known for being the best (SCIENCE!). That said, this little producer seems to be doing something right and this is a FABULOUS deal. If you're looking for light, easy drinking, yet has a bit of depth and complexity (see my tasting notes - ripe cherries & strawberries!), I'd suggest giving this wine a try...
Now, as far as how I did...I guessed even more Southern Burgundy (The MACON), and this is something that people do DOWN TO THE HILLSIDE. Seriously, BURGUNDY is the end-all-be-all for many wine-geeks because each hill DOES have its own sense of TERROIR* ("the somewhereness of a wine" - Wine for Sophisticated Homies, a great, fun new podcast.)
So, as a NEWBIE CorkDork, I guess I'll give myself partial credit. At least I said Burgundy...
Wine #26: Domaine Huber-Verdereau 2008 (Burgundy, France)
The Poopiness gave it away. Many biodynamic wines have "bret" or "Brettanomyces" and though they are making wines biodynamically all over the world, I really can't say how I knew it had to be Burgundy besides the other earthy characteristics. This wine is from the same general region of Burgundy as Wine #25 (Cote du Beaune), but classified at the most general level instead of specific sub-appellation.
Wine #27: New Zealand, Marlborough, Barking Hedge, 2010
This wine had lots of bright fruit, and definitely had a "New World" feel, but it wasn't quite jammy enough for me to take it to California. Though Marlborough is more famous for Sauvignon Blanc, this Pinot Noir was quite nice. Not going to stop and change the world, but a lovely, easy & pleasing wine.
Wine #28: David Bruce, 2010 - Sonoma Coast, California
Almost hit the nail on the head with this one, but not giving myself too much credit since I had a hunch it would sneak its way in there.... But I got the Vintage at least!
Where I went wrong here was thinking it was from the Russian River Valley, but instead it is from the Coast... which surprises me a bit, since the few Pinots I've had from the coast were not quite as jammy/baked, but perhaps it was because 2010 was warmer than 2011 (?)
OR MAYBE IT WAS A DIFFERENT PINOT NOIR CLONE!!!!
Ooo, clones! No time to discuss now, but this is a BIG DEAL.
It is a big deal, in the winegrowing/making/nerd-world, at least.
Especially for Pinot Noir - the heartbreak grape. That crazy grape is always mutating! Silly Pinot!
Look at the VERY FIRST SENTENCE of the tasting notes from the Barking Hedge Pinot Noir, New Zealand:
"A variety of clones from Burgundy and California are grown to create the perfect blend. Aggressive bunch thinning ensures fruit is superior. The vines are hand nurtured and fruit hand picked at harvest to maintain quality. A mix of new and old french oak barrels have been used in the fermentation process. Our first vintage was 2007 and completely sold. The 2008 vintage has just been released and has a deep vibrant colour. Strong aromatics compliment a firm full palate densely packed with fine tannins and succulent ripe berries. The 2009, 2010 and 2011 are all in bottles with 2012 recently harvested. "
For more information on grape clones, here are some links that might be of interest:
All in all, not too shabby on this blind tasting set...though most people would likely be able to get these, I think.
One day, I'll get down to clonal selections...
And the Ultimate for wine-nerds: vineyard sites in Burgundy.
Always something to work on (not including school work... sigh).
Again, apologies for my updating-negligence. I really do have so much fun updating this blog, and I hope to do so more regularly again. Maybe after this paper is submitted...