Saturday, June 14, 2008

Two great but very different Pinot Noirs

We had our friends -- at least I HOPE they're still our friends* -- the Finleys over last night for roast prime rib and Pinot Noir night. We enjoyed two tremendous but very very different renditions of the grape.

2004 Cristom "Louise Vineyard" Willamette Valley (Oregon) PINOT NOIR -- This relatively light-colored wine was unbelievably complex and fragrant, with earthy, smoky, minerally sappy cherry flavors, full body, and a long soft finish. (Robert Finley said something something about eating chocolate-dipped cherries in a log-cabin hunting lodge sitting in front of a peat fire). If I were scoring, this would have been in the 92-95 range. For drinking over the next year.

2002 Daniel Bocquenet ECHEZEAUX (Burgundy, France) -- This wine was densely colored and very tightly-wound, with substantial structure for ageing. The nose developed and opened slowly over time, initially revealing a prominent menthol/eucalyptus component that stayed with the wine throughout the evening. But as it sat, tight fruity aromas of hard plum and cherry candy, and well as smoky/minerally scents emerged. Nice acid balance as well, which, together with the plentiful tannic structure, indicated to me that this wine needs (yes, needs) 5 more years at least in a cool cellar. I probably would have scored this somewhere in the 90+ to 91+ range.

* I say "hope" because I was in full argumentative mode the latter half of the dinner, which, um, detracted from the usual level of collegiality.

1 comment:

Dionysus said...

You nailed these wines. What an outstanding meal it was. I saw Antonio over the weekend and he asked about you and the "Man" dinners and I told him all about the Beef and Pinot meal. He was duly jealous.
I don't know why you are so worried about the "detraction from the usual level of collegiality". Our friendship is way to solid for anything to disturb....and by the way you don't have enough argument in you to get me flustered.
I am already thinking of the next meal.
Thanks for another great dinner. This is one I will always remember.