Night of the Pinot

I participated in a tasting of Pinot Noirs tonight. All told, we tasted nine, and there was no spitting involved, so I am a bit tipsy at the moment. I figured I would transcribe my notes now, for general edification, and also because I think I may not be able to read or understand them in the morning. There was a big crew of us, and a lot of interesting commentary going on. I am hoping that the wine tasting becomes a regular thing.

Tonight also brought up something interesting for me, which is that I have had more of a social life since I moved than I did before. I’ve been meeting more people, going out more, and doing more awesome things. It’s totally cool. This night was a great example of the wonderful people I get to be around lately, and the terrific things that we do. I am really honored to be part of such a diverse, creative, talented, and spunky crew of folks.

Anyway, I’m listing the wines in the order we drank them. These notes are transcribed verbatim, so…you can see a progressive degeneration of communication skills towards the end.

2003 Navarro Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley (Mendocino County)
Colour: dusty garnet
Smell: chocolate, berry, watermelon
Tasting Notes: black walnut finish, tannic, oaky, eggy, boysenberry
Quotes from others: “aspirin, chocolate”

2004 Goldeneye Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley (Mendocino County)
Special Notes: this wine was actually opened the night before, and it clearly suffered as a result.
Colour: garnet
Smell: tomatoes, earthy, dust
Tasting Notes: cherries, portobellos, dolmas, stone, lemon
Quotes from others: “pussy galore, minerality”

2006 Green Stone Point Pinot Noir, New Zealand
Special Notes: screwtop wine
Colour: light garnet
Smell: straw mushrooms, walnuts
Tasting Notes: Cherry, grass, Welches grape juice, lemony
Quotes from others: “effervescent, tart, tannic”

2005 Mia’s Playground Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley (Sonoma County)
Colour: cranberry
Smell: ashy, pine, wild strawberry
Tasting Notes: dull, fir
Quotes from others: “watery, mellow, blue balls”

2004 Goldeneye Pinot Noir, Narrows Vineyard, Anderson Valley (Mendocino County)
Colour: plum
Smell: plum, peach, ash, marshmallow, vanilla
Tasting Notes: sweet, purple, vanilla, acid finish, long finish
Quotes from others: “velvety”

2004 Goldeneye Pinot Noir, Confluence Vineyard, Anderson Valley (Mendocino County)
Colour: raspberry
Smell: fruity
Tasting Notes: raspberry, fruity, mellow, rich, creamy
Quotes from others: “ooh, this is really good”

2005 Solena Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
Colour: pomegranate
Smell: guava, lemons
Tasting Notes: fruity, dry, pepper, almond, wet
Quotes from others: “sour grapes, chocolate liqueur”

2003 Maison Amboise Bourgogne, Burgundy
Colour: sour cherry (pie cherries?)
Smell: sour milk, zuccini
Tasting Notes: sweet, fruit, hint of dryness, spearmint, sandals, strawberry
Quotes from others: “like candy, watery, gun metal, yellow raisins”

2004 Louis Jardot Bourgogne, Burgundy
Colour: ruby/rust
Smell: coffee pee, clay, allspice
Tasting Notes: tannic, redwood, mango, spicy, nutmeg, spring pea finish
Quotes from others: “iceplant, loamy, minerality, footy, copper, skunky”

The goal of our tasting was to compare a wide range of Pinot Noirs, and get a feeling for different wine production in different regions. As a group, the Solena was a favourite. I personally really enjoyed the Goldeneyes from the Confluence and Narrows vineyards, along with the Jardot. The Green Stone Point proved to be a universal loser.

It was really fun to taste a bunch of wines and formulate my thoughts about them. I can see that my palate has a long way to go, and I think it is going to be fun to develop. Although, in the future, I will be spitting. I’m not sure if I liked the wines at the end because I was toasted, or because they were actually great. Either way, a fun night. I am pushing for a Riesling tasting next!

[wine tasting]