Category Archives: Pinot Noir

2011 Savigny-Les-Beaune Les Narbantons

2011 Savigny Les Beaune Les Narbantons

We enjoyed this bottle of Burgundy with a Dutch dish called “Parelhorn met Dragon-Dille Boter” otherwise known as guinea fowl with tarragon and dill butter. The guinea fowl is flavorful and light…I like to think of it as slightly gamier chicken…this is how all chicken should taste. The wine is a premier cru Burgundy from the Cote d’Beaune in the Cote d’Or. With the price of well known Burgundy producers/regions in outer space Savigny and Santenay are great areas to explore on weeknights or with low key meals with solid bottles available around $20-$30. For something more sophisticated with a weekend meal or having guests but still on a budget I’d recommend jumping to something a bit nicer around $40-50. Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin, Chassange-Montrachet, Nuits-Saint-Georges, or Meursault are all good choices.

colonelgrape: 84. We had this on a weekend with a big meal but I’d consider it more of a weekday drinker. On the nose there was red/black cherry, fresh earth, and a hint of citrus…young smelling. As the night went on the nose improved. Similar on the palate but I enjoyed the nose more than the taste. Even though most young Burgs tend to be a little tart at the end the finish here was on the tart side. Overall it was a somewhat simple but good value at $25…I’d drink it again.

MobyGrape: 81. There’s just something about pinot that I’m not so keen on, and I just can’t quite put my finger on it.  Oh wait, yes I can.  It’s the incredible tartness that comes along with young pinot, or pinot that isn’t mad expensive.  I want to like it so badly, because it works perfectly with lighter meats until you get to that puckery finish and then it’s just ruined.  Ok, maybe that’s a little dramatic.  It’s not ruined, this was a perfectly fine bottle of wine, I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to.

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NV Pierre Paillard Les Maillerettes Bouzy Blanc de Noirs

NV Pierre Paillard Les Maillerettes Bouzy Blanc de Noirs

colonelgrape: 92. It’s no secret that I’ve done a complete 180 on Champagne from earlier this year. I’m now a huge fan and love banc de noir….this bottle is no exception. Doing some research it’s the first and second press of a 0.8 acre section of Pierre Paillard’s Grand Cru vineyard so a limited edition wine. I tried to squeeze the glass into the photo so you can appreciate the golden color, it’s darker and fuller looking than other Champagnes. The visual translates to the nose and palate. Citrus, bread, apples, and chalk. I really enjoyed the balance betwen minerality, acidity, and fruit. The finish was incredibly long and smooth. More body than a blanc de blancs. If you aren’t sure of the difference between a classic blanc de noir and blanc de blanc Champagne taste this side by side with a blanc de blancs and compare them. I probably would have rated this higher if we opened it with a better food pairing.

MobyGrape: 85. Unless it’s complete crap, it’s a pretty safe bet to say that I’m going to give champagne a good review.  Lucky for me, the Colonel doesn’t buy crap, that’s really my domain.  I’m learning I’m a big fan of these blanc de noirs, they tend to not be overly tart or apple juice tasting (since I seem to think a lot of champagnes taste like that).  We had it with buttery delicious scallops because we couldn’t find another white in the house (real tough problem to have, I know) and it worked just fine.  Score another one for champagne!

NV Bereche et Fils Brut Reserve

NV Bereche & Fils Brut Reserve

 

 

We decided to celebrate the end of Breaking Bad with an episode of Champagne Meets Sushi. We decided to go with a decent bottle from our most recent trip to Wine Library and had a great evening. Recently we’ve cleared out space for 4-5 bottles in our fridge to have some pre-chilled white options at all times. I’d really recommend doing this even if you don’t drink white regularly…it’s much easier than trying to speed chill in the freezer or a bucket.

colonelgrape: 85. This is a classic blend but the color is more of a blanc de noir, more of a dark gold/amber. Nice carbonation and pleasing to the eye, nose full of apples, citrus and vanilla. Brisk, zesty, and full bodied on the palate. Crisp, refreshing, and elegant finish. Very well structured wine with fruit, earth and body from nose to finish. To me the only flaw was the slighly overpowering apple flavor, I would have liked a little more balance with the fruits.

MobyGrape: 86. Applesauce colored, a little apple tasting, I don’t know why I tend to get that from some champagnes but I do.  It wasn’t offensively bubbly, paired well with sushi (shocker), and it certainly made facing the end of Breaking Bad a little easier.  Much like the ending itself, it didn’t totally blow me away, and it wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but at the end of the day I was ok with it.

2010 Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin

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Jadot wines are great bargains at Wegman’s due to their contract together. I often find wines that are only available at Wegman’s or at significantly reduced prices. I picked up this 2010 Gevrey-Chambertin a few months ago for $45. The cru wines will cost more but this village wine is honestly just as good is most cases. Last week we decided to get fancy with some lobster mac and cheese and this was the ideal pairing. The pinot noir blended nicely with the rich yet mild flavors of the meal. Lobster was on sale so I went big:

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colonelgrape: 94. A classic Gevrey-Chambertin. I really enjoy all the wines I’ve sampled to date from this village. A great red berry bouquet on the nose backed by a solid structure with just the right amount of tannis. This bottle could probably do with a few more years in the bottle but it was plenty approachable already. I think balanced pinots go best with mild-medium flavored dishes. They are drinkable with just about anything but I think they can be overpowered with something too spicy or bold. It cut through the rich yet delicate mac and cheese perfectly to make for a really nice meal. This is a very sophisticated French pinot.

MobyGrape: 92.  I don’t know if it was the delicious cheeses we were eating, the fact that I was done working the weekend, or that the heat broke and it no longer felt like you were walking into an armpit when you stepped outside but this wine perfectly hit the spot this evening.  Even though the cheese was mild I have a feeling it made the wine taste a bit different.  That said, I didn’t stop eating it not even for one second to cleanse my palate and try to actually taste the wine properly.  Either way it paired perfectly with what we were having (2 points to the Colonel) and it was awesome, so who cares!  It was clean, just a bit tart, and not annoying like other pinots I’ve had.  Excellent on a summer day when you don’t want a chilled white or a beer instead

2008 Marc Hebrart “Special Club” Brut

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Not much to recap in June as we stuck with some old favorites. However we recently filmed another episode of Champagne Meets Sushi and our guest star was “Special Club” bottle of 2008 Marc Hebrart. We tried a new Japanese restaurant in Sudbury called Fugakyu and were impressed with the sushi quality and prices.

The Club Tresors de Champagne is a group of Champagne growers that orgainzed in 1971 in order to present their best offerings in a unique way. All the producers grow their own grapes and the wines are all put into the same bottle with each wine maker putting their own label on the bottle. These wines are generally fantastic with subtle differences due to the terrior, village location, and grape blends. More information can be found at their website:

http://www.clubtresorsdechampagne.com/

colonelgrape: 95. I thought this was an outstanding bottle of Champagne. It was bursting with flavor and you could really taste the Pinot Noir. On the nose it almost had a little brett smell to it but that didn’t translate to the palate. It had some interesting fruit notes, apple being the most prominent, but also hints of red fruit. These Special Club wines are all about terrior and you could really taste it in this bottle. The minerality was perfect, almost like a nice Loire Valley white.  I really like Champagnes that have a good percentage of Pinot Noir, it gives them better body and longer finishes than 100% Chardonnay examples. The fruit and acidity from the Chardonnay balances out the wine. I prefer wines in the 50-80% Pinot Noir range.

MobyGrape: 93:  I thought this tasted like apple juice.  It wasn’t juicy sweet at all, but it definitely had an apple flavor to it.  And it wasn’t bad, like when people substitute applesauce for oil in brownies and whatnot.  I don’t care what your granola friends say, it does not taste the same, you most definitely can tell the difference, and it sucks.  Stop ruining junk food.  I don’t know if a few grapes were swapped out with Granny Smiths but whatever happened in this champagne was a good thing.  Not what I expected, but a most pleasant surprise

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Happy 4th of July!