The one thing about being in a classroom that teaches you about wine, is that you make friends easily….because they all love wine as much as you do! During the course of Levels I and II, I had (& still have) the privilege of knowing these fine people. We are from different walks of life, have vastly different jobs, yet all share a love of wine. (It’s universal) We have a lot of fun, and genuinely enjoy each other’s company.
It had come back around to me to host, and host chooses varietal, region, comparisons…whatever. Carte blanche, really. Last night, Oregon’s Willamette Valley Pinot’s were up against the great Pinot Noirs of Burgundy. Did we all come to the same conclusion of who was the clear winner? No, however, distinct favourites came shining through.
Our lineup was fantastic! Bottles two, four and six came out with guns blazing! That’s not to say that one, three and five were terrible…it’s just that certain aspects of the aforementioned “winners” were more prominent.
Dan constantly gushed over the Shea continually morphing in his glass, full of violets and strawberries. The Volnay was ashy and barnyard-y on the nose but full of strawberries and blueberries on the palate. True to its description of the vintage, it was delicious! The Amity from Croft was our token organic wine that screamed of cherry nibs, and with it’s medium acidity made me want to go back for more. It held its own in this stiff competition, and the least expensive of the group! Tasting the Gevrey-Chambertin was almost a religious experience: 2006 being an excellent year in Burgundy, after tasting this one, I could have left all the other wines alone. So complex with a beautiful nose and taste of anise and deli meats. Balanced acidity and tannins gave this wine a long finish. And after tasting this one, we went back around to King Estate and got….creamy mocha! Initially, it consisted mostly of strawberries and well…..barnyard. Honestly, these wines were changing all night long, with some of them being opened an hour before everyone arrived. Unfortunately, the Phillipe-Le-Hardi was a bit underwhelming…not at all what we expected from the Cote de Beaune.
The tasting experience, at least for me, is always a well timed event, and I look forward to it every month! And the best part? The host gets to keep the leftovers! It doesn’t get any better than that! James, you missed a good one! But next month, he is hosting, and we may very well be doing a Horizontal tasting of some Chateauneuf-de-Pape. Hmm…can’t wait for that one!
A clear winner? Well, the Gevrey scored high points, but Dan was convinced the Shea was the favourite. And that is what makes this exercise enjoyable…everyone has an excellent opinion to share.
Until next time…here’s to you, and may all your Pinot Noirs be….Burgundy! (OK, maybe they can be Oregon too… ) 🙂