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All wine, most of the time

MWG January 10th tasting (4/7): Two Pinot Noirs

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Beaune 2010, Lulunne, Château Genot-Boulanger ($36.50, La QV, 6 bottles/case)
100% Pinot Noir from 40-year-old vines. The estate practises lutte raisonnée (manual weed control, organic fertilizers, etc.) and has been experimenting with organic “treatments” since 2007. The grapes are destemmed, macerated 15 to 20 days in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, pneumatically pressed and fermented with indigenous yeasts. Matured eight to ten months in barrels, 20% new. 13% ABV.
Classic red Burgundy nose: red berries, beet, wood, background spice and forest floor and a whiff of barnyard. Medium-bodied. Fluid. Intensely flavoured with fine astringent tannins and bright acidity. Dry, especially on the finish. Pure, clean, droit. Accessible now but will probably benefit from a year or two in the cellar, though it’s not a long-keeper. Would be a good addition to a restaurant wine list. (Buy again? A bottle at this price; a case if it were $5–10 less.)

Pinot Noir 2011, Willamette Valley, Montinore Estate ($30.25, La QV, 12 bottles/case)
100% biodynamically farmed Pinot Noir from various vineyards. Spent ten months in French and Hungarian oak barrels, 20% new. 13% ABV.
Red berries, slate, faint flowers and, with time, spice. Supple and medium-bodied. Ripe but shy fruit, minerals and a little smoky wood. It’s more astringent than outright tannic and is marked by an acidic streak. Fresh, alive and not without appeal if not exactly full of charm, at least at this young stage. The farthest thing from the West Coast cherry Coke-style of Pinot Noir. More of a food wine (cedar-planked salmon!) than a tasting wine. A recently opened bottle of the 2010, which at this stage of its life tasted very similar to the 2011, had evolved into a fragrant, silky-fruited wine. (Buy again? A bit pricey but sure.)

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Written by carswell

January 27, 2013 at 12:49

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