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Pinot Noirs Blind Tasted


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A (very) mixed Pinot Noir blind tasting. Many people do not cellar Burgundies – one of the biggest crap shoots in winedom, unless you can taste before you buy, often impractical and/or expensive. This tasting showed more new world Pinots than in previous events.

Cipes Pinot Noir Brut – a BC bubbly with a reasonably dark colour, good entry, bit light in the mid-palate, but improving in the end with decent length. With pricing above the good Cavas, not likely to appeal to many.

2003 Zanatta Allegria Brut Rose – yeah, I know, it sounds like a Police retrospective, but this wine comes from the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver island. It was a pink, with a nose of yeast, an unfinished wine. Which is why I taste but do not buy wines from the Island, at least not until they get their act together.

2006 Lang Blanc de Noir – BC pink with a red tone, made from Pinot and Gamay. Not worth putting in your mouth. I know – I did…..

1999 Burrowing Owl PN – fairly light in colour (in context of new world, not Burgs) with browning edges. Interesting on palate – the only tip off that it isn’t French was the slight heat detectable in the nose. Not bad.

2004 Burrowing Owl PN – another “Tunneling Hooter” wine, yet so different. Cherry and cocoa nose, medium colour, fruit level OK, tannin and astringency6 make this one to hold and cross your fingers. Not sure how it will turn out.

1998 Kettle Valley Hayman PN – this single vineyard offering was the first nature wine. Dark colour, slightly funky nose, with some herbs, decent middle and still with soft tannin at the end.

2005 Belle Glos Clark & Telephone Vineyard PN – a Wagner wine from California, there was good sweet pinot fruit in this, a slightly antiseptic sweet nose, and a nice sweet spicy finish.. Oddly enough this died rather quickly in the glass, especially for such a young wine, which usually doesn’t bode well for the ageability.

1999 Jacques Prieur Beaune Champs Pimont – lovely elegant nose that said Burgundy, medium body, pleasant sweet wine with good length. No rush.

2002 King Estate Domaine PN – a primary sort of cherry nose, sweet entry, simple pleasant wine.

2004 Maysara PN Delara – finally an Oregon entry, but sadly not a typical one. Warm caramel and cherry nose, completely unlike a Pinot Noir. So-so on palate – a pass on this one.

2004 Yering Station Yara Valley PN – good red fruit in the nose of this Oz wine, great intensity of flavour and good length. If you like the brasher style, this was a good example, unmistakably from Down Under.

2002 Cedar Creek Platinum PN – usually a reliable wine, this one showed an atypical burnt nose, sour cherries in the mouth and was bland – avoid.

1990 Laurent Charmes Chambertin Grand Cru – there was funkiness but little in the way of fruit in the nose on this one. Better news on palate, with sweet cherry flavours, finishing astringent and a bit sour. If I’d paid for and cellared this wine, I’d be a bit choked.

1985 Remoissenet Savigny les Beaunes Les Gravains Tete de Cuvee – DOA, which I suppose is predictable, or at least a risk with a 22 year old Savigny.

2002 Mission Hill Late Harvest Vidal – never a big fan of Canadian sweet wines, this was no surprise – sweet simple fruit nose, it had sufficient acidity to give it balance but not interest. Forgettable.

2003 Peller Estates Reserve Trinity Ice Wine – much better balance and an improved nose on this rather expensive ($55/375 ml.) wine, far better than the previous vapid example. A blend of Vidal, Ehrenfelser and Riesling. Think I’ll stick (pun intended) to my German BA and TBAs, thanks.

This tasting reminds me of why I like cabernets so much…..they are so much more reliable! Sure, a really good Pinot Noir is a true delight, but crawling over figurative broken glass to find them is a pastime for those more masochistic than I am. Do I still collect them? Sure, but only after tasting them. My wine was the 1998 Kettle, and I had a back up of a 1993 Bichot Vosne Romanee Les Malconsorts in my bag.

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