Friday, October 2, 2009

There's Pinot and then there's PINOT

Pinot Noir is possibly the most capricious of grapes. It's difficult to find a really good one at modest prices. And it's inconsistent. Vintage matters. It's a finicky grape. It's hard to grow, delicate, thin-skinned, prone to rot, really something of a drama queen. Oregon and Burgundy (Bourgogne, France) have absolutely aced Pinot. And be prepared to pay for it. California is covering all the bases with affordable, quaffable stuff like Poppy Pinot and ramping it up with silky, rich examples that can damage your wallet.
Tonight's treat is Red Car Trolley from the Sonoma Coast. Have you ever smelled a clove cigarette? That's Red Car. Clove cigarettes and your mama's cherry pie. The tannins are perfectly balanced with the fruit. It is worth lingering. And their website is fun to view. These people are dedicated to pure, balanced Pinot without fining or filtering. Just the grape as Mother Nature intended it to be. Having said that, their production is not huge so don't go to your local vendor and expect to find it. This is when you need to develop a relationship with your local wine store and let them know what you like. I only managed to get my hands on one bottle. If you're in with the in crowd you've got a better chance of getting your hands on the good stuff.

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