Tasting Notes, Feb. 15, 2020; Pinot Family

Brandborg Pinot Gris  2018

Elkton, OR

Regular Price $19.99 

Sale price $15.99

South of Eugene, there is another wine region in Oregon, the Umpqua Valley. 36 miles from the Pacific and with elevated vineyards, this is a cool climate where grapes ripen slowly and retain refreshing acidity. Ergo, this crisp and fresh wine boasts apple and peach flavors along with some hay and cut grass. 

Laurent Barth Pinot d’Alsace  2017

Bennwihr, FR

Regular Price $26.99

Sale price $20.99

This is mostly pinot auxerrois with a touch of pinot gris. Fresh, full, rich and deeply flavored, it’s nonetheless crisp and textured. Pear and lime with hints of white flowers dominate. The wine is so enjoyable, it’s difficult to put it down.

Domaine Henri Gouges Pinot Blanc  2016

Nuits-Saint-Georges, FR

Regular Price $47.99

Sale price $33.99

Pinot Blanc is pretty much nonexistent in Burgundy these days, but a few isolated patches remain and a few committed producers continue to honor the centuries old heritage of the grape and make interesting and intense wine from Pinot Blanc. Domaine Henri Gouges (from Nuit-Saint-Georges) is one of those producers, and their commitment is such that the grape has become known to some as Pinot Gouges. Bold and rich, the wine is earthy and more nutty than fruity with crisp acidity and nice length. It’s a great choice with any pork presentation

Hartford Court Chardonnay  2017

Russian River Valley, CA

Regular Price $34.99 

Sale price $23.99 

California Chardonnay is the wine that people love to hate (while secretly loving), except for those that just outright love it. The folks at Hartford Court make 7 or 8 different single vineyard Chardonnays annually, but this is their everyday wine, and it’s really, everyday, good. It shows just enough of all the California Chardonnay greatest hits (tropical fruit, butter, vanilla,etc) but keeps them all in relative balance. It’s drinks more like an homage than a caricature. That’s meant to be a compliment, BTW.

Domaine Michel Juillot ‘Le Meix Juillot’ Mercurey  2016

Mercurey, FR

Regular Price $34.99

Sale price $27.99

The Cote Chalonnaise is perhaps the least known region of Burgundy, but is of no less quality for its lack of fame. This is a classic Burgundy Pinot Noir; subtle, earthy, unprepossessing and ageworthy. It doesn’t jump from the glass, but, instead, shows restraint, with dark, tart cherry and forest floor aromas leading before mushroom and savory baked fruit arrive.  Wonderfully complex

Thibault Liger-Belair ‘La Roche’ Moulin-a-Vent 2016

Nuits-Saint-Georges

Regular Price $58.99 

Sale price $46.99

According to DNA analysis, Gamay is, along with  Chardonnay, a member of the family of Burgundian grapes spawned by Pinot Noir and the obscure white grape variety Gouais Blanc, centuries ago. Gamay was famously banned from Burgundy (‘a very bad and disloyal variety…’) in 1395 by Phillip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. It remains disliked by many due to its role in Beaujolais Nouveau. However, this rendition, made in the Burgundian style (standard fermentation, barrel aging) is rich and bold with generous grip and weight. It does justice to its extended family’s heritage.

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