submitted by Mike Wilson
Our club’s Wine Fellowship met at the Wilson’s on Thursday, June 21, to taste Pinot Noir. These wines had been selected from Mike Wilson’s cellar, and the tasting was divided into groups of three wines. After a description of the Pinot Noir story that emphasized the really long history of Pinot Noir, one of the four oldest vinifera wines (there are said to have been 6000 Vitis Vinifera in the last 6000 years), and one of the most important. This is emphasized as Pinot Noir was the first fruit and second food where the genome was mapped. Pinot Noir is related to virtually 60% of wines used these days, being a sibling or parent of all of these wines. In general the lighter colors, red brick rim seen on older pinots (we had a lot to sample in this tasting) and the fact that they age quite well (one wine was 41 years old – a Bouchard Le Corton, and we tasted three 1999 wines).
We tried great Red Burgundies (one Grand Cru and four premier Crus) the creme de la creme of Pinot Noir. These 5 wines represent the top 5% of Red Burgundies. The first three wines were from the first ten years of this century, a 2002 Nuit St George and a Charmes Chambertin, and a 2007 Bouchard Beaune Marconnets. We then tried three different Californian AVA’s (2010 Artesa, 2005 Flowers & Woodenhead) followed by three Oregon Pinots of the same period all from the Dundee Hills AVA (2007 Winderlea, and 2008 Lange & Scott Paul) so with good age on them. Next we tried three from the British Empire: two from NZ and one from the Okanagon Valley, and two of these wines were actually brought back from overseas. These latter wines were still a little younger, being only 4-8 years old.
(Photo 1: from left: Patty Wilson, Cheryl Wittke, Becky Steinhoff, Ellie Schatz & Paul Schatz; Photo 2: from left: Julie Swenson, Peggy Lescrenier and Leslie Overton)
We then had three older wines: a 1999 Truchard from Sonoma, a 1999 Nuit St. George and 1977 Le Corton both from Burgundy. We cleaned our palate with a Gruet Blanc de Noir (a white Methode Champenoise also made from Pinot Noir). I had anticipated at least one of these three last century wines would be over the hill, but none were – a testament to Pinot Noir’s longevity.
Onee among the three wine groupings, a particular Pinot, was preferred only once. As all these wines were good, then the individual taster’s palate determined the most liked, i.e personal preference reigned supreme. The cheeses all went great with the wine and included a Compte, Gruyere, Mozzarella, White Cheddar and Cambazola, as did the breads and crackers. A good time was had by all. A pity we will never be able to repeat this tasting.