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The cream and the infidel

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Willamette Valley 2013, Pinot Noir, La Crema ($40.00, 12395652)
The second vintage of this wine from Jackson Family Wines’ new Oregon operation and the first made in its own facility. 100% Pinot Noir from estate and purchased grapes grown in eight vineyards. Manually harvested. The whole clusters were pressed and the juice cold-soaked for three days, then fermented in vats with thrice-daily punch-downs. The resulting wine was racked into French oak barrels (25% new) for eight months’ maturation. Residual sugar (per the winery): 3.0 g/l. 13.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Le Marchand de Vin.
Attractive nose dominated by cedary red fruit (cherry, cranberry). What’s more, ça pinote. In the mouth, it’s medium-bodied and fairly dry. The ripe fruit is only a bit brambly and not at all jammy, nicely brightened by acidity and firmed by supple tannins. Earthy minerally undertones and savoury herb overtones add interest, while the oak is mercifully relegated to the background. Sweet spice notes – from the fruit as well as the oak, methinks – sound on the credible finish. Not a QPR winner – few West Coast wines are, alas – but not a rip-off either, not in either sense of the word. (Buy again? On sale maybe.)

Coteaux du Languedoc 2013, Terrasses du Larzac, L’infidèle, Mas Cal Demoura ($33.50, private import, 12 bottles/case)
A blend of organically farmed grapes, typically Syrah (30%), Mourvèdre (25%), Grenache (20%), Cinsault (15%) and Carignan (10%). Manually harvested. Destemmed. The parcels and grape varieties are vinified separately. Fermented (with indigenous yeasts) and macerated in temperature-controlled stainless steel and concrete tanks for 20-35 days with punch-downs and pump-overs. Matured 12 months, 80% in 500- and 600-litre barrels (15% new) and 20% in stainless steel tanks. After blending, the wine is matured seven months in stainless steel tanks. Cold-stabilized then bottled. 14% ABV. Quebec agent: Le Marchand de Vin.
Savoury nose of plum, “black sesame” and leather with garrigue overtones. Full-bodied, broad and deep but not massive – quite elegant in fact. Firm tannins and smooth acidity structure the dry, velvety black fruit. Finishes long and on a licorice note. The wine’s balance makes it accessible now though it’s also quite primary; a few years in the cellar will bring added complexity. (Buy again? Sure.)

MWG February 26th tasting: flight 6 of 7

Written by carswell

March 24, 2016 at 11:52

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