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WTN: New World Pinot Noir impressions


Jean Brislance
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I spent an extended 4th of July weekend up at my parent's place in northern MN. All in all, it was a fun weekend, albeit somewhat chilly for a good portion of it (we had highs in the mid 50's on Sunday! :blink: ). We did get to eat and drink very well, and even caught a couple of walleyes on Monday, which ended up accompanying a steak dinner for a little "surf and turf" action.

I took no notes at all, but I thought I would share some quick impressions of some big, New World Pinot Noirs I brought with me. Of all the wines I bring when visiting the folks, they seem to like California Pinot the best.

On Saturday, I opened a bottle of 2002 Red Car Pinot Noir Russian River Valley "Amour Fou" to go with some applewood smoked country-style pork ribs. This is the first Pinot from Red Car, and it is huge like their Syrahs. Lots of bright cherry fruit, almost a berry liquer-like flavor, maybe some cinnamon, with a creamy, delicious, and long finish. This is a big, viscous, over-the-top wine, sure to please lovers of this style. I am not sure how this will age. I thought it was drinking well now, and it was very pleasurable at the moment.

Sunday night of the 4th, we grilled up some smoked Polish sausages, and I opened a 2002 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard. This was absolutely excellent, and was the favorite wine of the weekend for several of us. Beautiful black cherry, berry, and a some very pretty spicy notes. Finishes with a gush of fruit and spice, and the finish goes on and on. Dad declared that this was the best wine I have ever brought home. He loved it (as did I), so now I will be saving a bottle for another special occasion!

Monday night was grilled NY strip steak night (and a few fillets of fresh, pan-fried walleye), so I cracked a 2001 Siduri Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills Cargassachi Vineyard. Another delicious and big wine. Dominant flavors of black cherry, with some cola, blackberry, maybe even a little chocolatey note. Lots of fruit on the finish, with a mouthcoating texture. It went quite nicely with the steaks. Not as good of a match for the walleye, obviously, but that was an unanticipated addition to the meal!

A fun family weekend with some powerful wines!

All the best,

Jean

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I've heard very good things about the Red Car wines but haven't had a chance to try them yet. Now I'm going to have to call my distributor and ask her bring some over for a taste!

Can you reveal the prices paid for these lovely wines? (I realize the price will vary from state to state, but just wanted to get a ballpark price point).

Thanks for the report!

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Can you reveal the prices paid for these lovely wines? (I realize the price will vary from state to state, but just wanted to get a ballpark price point).

Hi Katie,

I don't remember exactly. All of them were purchased off of the mailing lists directly from the wineries, and they were all in the $40 range, I think. The Siduri may have been $50. Not exactly cheap, but I find big, burly wines like this fun to drink from time to time, particularly with the folks! :biggrin:

All the best,

Jean

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What wine goes with lutefisk?  :biggrin:  :biggrin:  :biggrin:

:laugh:

Don't they just drink copious quantities of Aquavit???

I know Jean, and he wouldn't waste freshly caught walleye by making lutefish out of them. And Katie is right, you need something like Aquavit to 1) give you courage to eat lutefisk, and 2) kill the taste.

The best aquavit for the job is one that had crossed the equator four times.

We cannot employ the mind to advantage when we are filled with excessive food and drink - Cicero

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I had the pleasure of meeting Brian Loring 'online' through another site when he was just getting started and I was poor and unemployed. At that time, he was only making two vineyard-specific Pinots. His wines are truly amazing and sell out very quickly. They are available through his website Loring Wine Company. Now that I look, I see that his business has grown tremendously.

Thanks for reminding of him! I had forgotten and now that I'm gainfully employed, I'll look into getting some more.

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