The Many Moods of Pinot

Hello, Feastlings.

Our good friend Andy Ramirez joins us this Sunday for our Last Sunday of the Month tasting, and it’s virtually assured we’ll fill up, if not because so many of you already know and enjoy Andy, then because Pinot Noir is among the most heavily attended of our tastings. This Sunday, April 24, at 3:30, Andy will open Pinots from here and abroad, reflecting a great breadth of styles, and each wine will be paired with a snack that’s meant to pair nicely with the wine. You may recall that web or email reservations won’t assure you of a reservation, so if you’d like to join us, please call us at 326-9363. The tasting is $30 plus tax and gratuity.

The Many Moods of Pinot

2014 Chehalem “Three Vineyard” Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley $24.00

Winemaker’s Notes: 100% Estate-Grown Pinot Gris from Ridgecrest Vineyards, Stoller Vineyards and Corral Creek Vineyards. This Pinot Gris is a platinum blonde bombshell. With the warmer weather 2012 brought to Oregon, we were able to bring ripe tropical notes and rich floral aromas out of all 3 vineyards of our Pinot Gris. We start with sweet yellow peach, juicy ripe pear, key lime, and ruby grapefruit, followed by layers of jasmine, day lily, and rosemary to accent the nose. The palate is rich and smooth, with just enough tangy acid to tether the loosely jointed edges of this wine. Seamless, weighty, and lovely.

2013 Heger Dry Pinot Noir Qualitätswein, Baden $24.00

Joachim Heger, grandson of founder Dr. Max Heger, took over responsibility for winemaking in 1981 The results of his work are supremely fresh, energetic wines with unmistakable depth and character. Unlike the dominant fashion for oaky, extracted spätburgunder, Joachim is focused on capturing clarity of site expression and freshness. This is achieved by hand harvesting at the peak of physiological ripeness. I This wine offers tremendous value. This is a liter-bottle of fresh, juicy, energetic pinot noir with great balance that is dangerously drinkable and ridiculously affordable. This is not a wine for focused meditation on the nature of terroir but for pure, simple, unadulterated enjoyment.

2014 Kutch Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast $44.00

From Kutch: “Our Sonoma Coast appellation wine is comprised of two distinct vineyards. Campbell Ranch represents the extreme rthwestern edge of the appellation in the remote coastal mountain range near the town of Annapolis. The vineyard sits perched at 75 feet elevation, above the coastal fog and receives maximum photosynthesis. Sonoma Stage is frigid and planted on the southeast tip of the AVA amongst the funneled winds of the San Pablo Bay in Adobe clay soils. The mix of soil types, exposures and climates create an alluring wine of length, focus and tension.

2014 Domaine Bernard Moreau Bourgogne Rouge $21.00

This fine domaine is based in Chassagne-Montrachet, and its roots go back to 1809 when Auguste Moreau built its first cellar. The majority of the domaine’s 14 hectares (out of which 9 are owned and five are farmed) were assembled by Marcel Moreau in the 1930s. Bernard Moreau, the father of Alexandre and Benoit who presently run the domaine, took over the vineyards and cellar in the early 1960s at the age of 14 years (!), but by the 1970s he had already secured a sound reputation for the domaine.

Nowadays, Alex and Benoit belong to the new generation of talented wine makers in the Cote d’Or, who went through formal studies and have experienced working in other wine regions around the world.

There is natural approach to managing the vineyards: there is no use of herbicides or pesticides, and only plowing is applied. Only organic fertilizers are being used. Pruning is the main method used to keep the yields low and under control. Harvest is done solely by hand and fermentation is naturally originated by the natural grapes’ yeasts.

2012 Chehalem “Three Vineyard” Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley $33.00

Winemaker’s Notes: A classic red-fruited Pinot Noir with dark, earthy, savory elements, characteristically cracked pepper,tea leaf, cinnamon, charcoal, matchstick, spice and plum. The acidity of the vintage gives a structure to suspend wood and tannin elements playfully on the palate. Balance is excellent, length good and final impressions are red, delicate and complex. Silk nap grip on the palate and acidity guarantee a very long life.

2013 Capiaux “Chimera” Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley $36.00

Bright cranberry, spice, red cherry, mint and cinnamon lift from the glass in the 2013 Chimera. The flavors are bright, high-toned and lifted throughout, with lovely energy and tension throughout. This is a terrific introduction to Sean Capiaux’s wines. The Chimera is raised in 350 liter, thick-staved vineyards, which naturally allows for less exchange with oxygen than standard barrels.

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