Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Picking a Pinot

It's about that time...less than two weeks until Thanksgiving and I have started planning my menu and deciding which bottles I'll select for my dinner. I do love to play with some unexpected varietals but I adore Pinot Noir and will always have at least one on the table.

This year I decided I would explore Pinot Noirs from various parts of the world and share my discoveries in hopes of helping others decide what kind of Pinot is perfect for your Thanksgiving!

My first contestant was a 2009 The Crossings, Pinot Noir from the Awatere Valley in Marlborough on the South Island of New Zealand. I have really warmed up to New Zealand Pinot Noirs and love the acidity they offer...great for pairing with food and would sing with Turkey and all it's accoutrements on Thanksgiving!

This wine is quite light in color and texture which I really enjoyed. It offers notes of cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb, roasted herbs and bright acidity. I found myself going back again and again for more and with a retail price of about $18.99?! Fantastic!

The next wine takes me to Bio Bio (south of Santiago) in Chile for a 2009 Llai Llai Pinot Noir. Chilean wines are always the way to go for fantastic value and the Llai Llai is no exception at a retail price of about $12.99. On the nose there was almost a menthol aroma and it reminded me a little of cherry cough drops. This wine is pretty ripe and has quite a bit of baking spice and toast on the palate. Although this isn't my style Pinot Noir, a little too ripe for me, it's easy drinking and I can imagine it would be a crowd pleaser.

My final wine was from right here in California, a 2009 Sonoma Coast Vineyard, "Freestone Hills" Pinot Noir. They sourced the fruit from the 3 vineyards that have all brought their own personality to make a rich bold Pinot Noir. The color is deep ruby and the palate has a lot to offer with notes of pomegranates, raspberries, cherry cola, and an even Earl Grey tea. The finish is long with a velvet texture. This wine retails for about $39.99, which is quite fair for a quality Sonoma Pinot Noir.

SO, as much as I enjoyed my journey around the world in search for my Thanksgiving Pinot Noir I have decided that New Zealand's The Crossing is the winner..I think...maybe I should have a sip or 5 more to be sure....

*For more in depth information on any of these wines visit W.J.Deutsch & Sons, Ltd.*


JuLo said...
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Julie @BananasForBourbon said...

You give such excellent descriptions of wine! I feel like I really get a sense of what they're about. The Crossings sounds lovely, and the Earl Grey flavor note in the SCV is intriguing! I might have to pick up a bottle for my mom's Thanksgiving table, even though she "has the wine covered". ;)