Tag Archives: pinot noir

The test

29 Jun


At 9 am last Saturday I was pretending I was back in high school as I sat anxiously with my sharpened number 2 pencil. It was time for the WSET 2 test. Multiple choice. There is not a blind tasting until level 3. Phew. But this test was covering a lot. Beyond the wine stuff I will expound on there were also questions about spirits and stuff like eiswine, sherry and port.

I had studied like a crazy woman. I think I passed. I wonder how well.

My classmates I discussed it with agreed the exam was trickier than we surmised.

And not just because it required remembering that Barolo is from the Piedmont (extra fun facts I DID easily remember: it is made from the Nebbiolo grape, and high in tannins, alcohol and acidity). And I was SO happy I drilled the Aussie wines over and over. I almost never drink Australian sippers seeing as I reside here in sunny California which has some pretty plush stuff to offer. I just don’t see them around.

Even though I do have the guilty pleasure of sucking down those plush, berry and mocha-filled Shiraz’s straight outta Barossa. Or McLaren Valley. Or Hunter Valley.

But I was glad I drilled the Aussie wines because I needed to remember that Pinot Noir thrived both in the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula. A tricky question because good pinot noir, AKA the delicate flower of a dainty grape we do not associate with a land that creates those dense and spectacular Shiraz bombs, is in fact made there with skillzzzzzz. Like Shiraz. Australia makes damn fine wine.

ANYwho. There were also a lot of questions that would, say, ask what grape varieties are allowed in whatever region’s wines, list grapes 1 through 4 then ask you is it a) grapes 1 and 2, b)grapes 3 and 4, c) grapes 1 and 4, or c) grape 1 only. So you’d be sure of most of the grapes but fuck it number 4———is Viognier allowed in this blend or no?

Does ANY of this shit matter?

Probably not. Wine does not ACTUALLY matter.

Actually nothing in life ACTUALLY matters.

But in standardized tests only perfection matters.

To Virgos like me.

Study people, you’ll go far.

6 awesome and 7 lucky

30 Dec

  
So, shall we suppose that a wine named 667 is almost wicked awesome and but instead just very awesome but also lucky? We shall. And so shall we suppose that this is a fine balance of the simple joys? We shall. We shall suppose it balances awesomeness and luck.

Noble Vines 2013 667 Pinot Noir from Monterey, California

The first number refers to the year, duh. 2013 BCE. The number 667 speaks refers to the specific clone of the pinot noir grape. It is a grape that enjoys a cooler climate. Because awesome wines are also supes cool.

It is so cool. As cool as saying you like pinot noir is.

667 is a newer French “Dijon” clone.

It is darker (like my soul).

It is 14.5% alcohol. Who knows about me, that depends on time of day for my soul (12-97%).

It is structured (very like my soul–sometimes unfortunately–for my soul and not unfortunately for the wine).

It speaks of plums and dark cherries to my taste buds (unlike my soul which does not speak to my soul).

Deliciously dark in color for a pinot noir.

Cocoa and plum on the nose.

More more more plum and plush cherry on the tongue.

Oh so slight tannins.

You could drink this wine until kingdom come.

So if the Kingdom of Vino comes, feel free to try some other things, but this wine will offend not a soul. Maybe serve with a meal like, say, a holiday meal with gajillions of flavors. Neither a soul nor flavor could object. Not even Aunty Esther or her Brussel Sprouts Surprise.

It is a Good Wine. Very Good.

ImPorterant

11 Nov

  
Any brand days that is oh-so-bespoke seems to be a “This & That”. Sugar & Spice. Rag & Bone. Noise & Silence.

Yin & Yang?

Oh wait that goes back a bit further.

So I got this truly handsome bottle of 2012 Porter & Plot Pinot Noir. A vino from Club W. And ps if you want a free bottle from them use this link: http://clubw.com/eclifford
and happiness, etc. will prevail. On both your and my ends.

Back to Porter & Plot. It is a Pinot noir I would not think of as so noir-ish. By which I mean this really a saucy bitch! If it were Pinot noir as I think of it, it would seductively sit in the shadows and wait for you to be lured to it.

Instead this brash hussy jumps in your face and is like “HEY! I’M WINE! I HAVE EARTH AND SPICE AND WHATEVER YOU WANT I WILL DO–for the lowlow price of 25 dollars”.

Then once you’ve taken it home for the night it whispers in your ear “ya know that uptight bitch Burgundy or whatshernamenow? Bourgogne? She is an uptight pain, but I will watch football and I don’t care if you are drunk–I may even be happier if you are!”

Now don’t get me wrong. It is not a total whore. It does have the elegant soupçon of earth I associate with an excellent Pinot noir. The berry notes are there. But then there is this spice. I mean, it is RULL good. The brashness of these spices–green pepper, black pepper, pepper-of-all-types-pepper slaps you and you say…this is pinot?

More like pin-OH!

Sorry. Cannot help myself.

It is strongly boozy at 15.4% ABV and as Club Dub-Yuh says would be great for date night. As I mentioned, it is spicy, y’all. For a pinot. Which is what you want on an elegant date, no? Spicy fun under the guise of elegance? Unless you want to get raunchy with your tinder-bad self in which case why the fuck are you drinking wine? Get to the gin/vodka/whisky/shots and get it on.

But as for this pinot. It hides demurely under the smooth labeling & naming:

  
The Understated & Sexy. It walks the tightrope between spicy, acidic, and smooth (Oxford comma forevs y’all). But I still somehow do not feel that it is balanced. So I’d say I REALLY like this wine. And some people may LOVE LOVEY LURVE this wine. But I only like it. But that is my palate.

Yours may be all the gladder to taste this.

As Noir As My Soul

16 Sep

  
That is…pinot noir.

I dunno you guys. Rarely do I so totally agree with the winery tasting notes but SIMI was spot-on when they sold me on their 2013 Sonoma Valley Pinot Noir.

The look: pure ruby red. Like if you look at an actual ruby, you’d say that is the same color as that pinot by SIMI. Ain’t no fucking almost royal blue merlot. Your teeth will not turn purple. Pink maybe.

Take a whiff and get a nose full of cherry and spices I associate with pumpkin recipes. I’m not saying this smells like pumpkin, mind you. Just the spices I associate with it.

Take a sip and you get some roasted pear, and maybe a fig or so and some more rich pureed cherries. And you know what? Speaking of dates I recently got my hands on some fresh jujubes, aka Chinese dates, and I feel like if I roasted them they would go well with this wine.

This really did have a large amount of spice–FOR A PINOT. Because I do not think of pinots as having spice but this one is rich with the peppery ginger and perhaps a bit of nutmeg and…allspice? I taste allspice. Like I said, pumpkin-associated spices. It is a pinot noir that has been having a make-put session with its fifth cousin it is not really related to the Zinfandel and the two would hav beautiful baby grapelets.

There is some elegant acidity that keeps this a light-hearted pinot noir.

It is darkly light. Like my joyful dark soul.

A teensy bit of acid. And lots of love.

Oh, and for some reason it is making me crave the type of bruschetta made of thick grilled Italian bread that is half soggy with roasted tomato and garlic. And I might toss some sage in there.