This time I got three very different and partly highly unusual Pinot Noirs for you. The headliner comes from Isonzo region in the east of Italy right on the border to Slovenia. Bedsides this one, I got a Swiss Pinot fellow made by Jürg Saxer from Zurich and an admittedly far more expensive German fellow from Pfalz region produced by Bernd Philippi from Koehler-Ruprecht. The last one has been called up as a late replacement for another more simple minded fellow from Pfalz region (-> cork).
Azienda Agricola Matteo Braidot Pinot Nero Vecchio Confine 2009, Isonzo
Matteo Braidot is a relatively large (approx. 250 acre) wine producing company in Friuli-Venezia. Their variety expands from classical Italian wines, predominately white ones, up to various growths produced from originally French grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc. Today’s wine is one interesting and unique example for such an international, I may call it, experiment. The Pinot Nero V.V. is supposed to be a light and easy to drink Pinot. Just like my header might imply. Well, after I opened the bottle I wasn’t all too sure about that anymore. Its colour was very dark for a Pinot. Hardly any transparency at all! The bouquet made everything crystal clear. I smelled dark juicy cherries, olives, black pepper, sweet red paprika, rosemary and thyme. I assume a rather unusual fragrance pattern for a Pinot!?! The taste revealed even more of the already mentioned sweet red paprika, hints of black olives and strong dark cherries. The herbal flavours were not that expressive. The complexity and concentration was medium at the most. Pretty strong acid and some hard tannin were still present. A finish was there, but not an all too long lasting one. So, what can I tell you about this “Pinot Noir”? It was very very very unusual! Never use that in a blind tasting! I guess everybody will fail to allocate this one to the Pinot family. For me it tasted like a light Super Tuscan blend made from Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. After some hours the Cabernet attributes were that uncannily present which lead me to a bottle-mix-up suspicion. Who knows? I’d like to think everything was fine with my bottle. It was just a weird, but not that unenjoyable, expirience. Maybe simple and not challenging, but quaffable! Ohh, before I forget, not as harsh and butch as most Tuscan Pinots. It was relatively smooth and well balanced.
Weingut Jürg Saxer Pinot Noir Classic 2009, Zürcher Weinland
Saxer’s Pinot Noir Classic, his basic Pinot, from Neftenbach in Zurich was totally different. Its colour was very bright with some slightly brown reflexes. The nose appeared to be very cold and light and unfortunately not too pleasant. I got scents of green bananas, strong earthy smoke and weak impressions of fresh strawberries. The taste told me sweet, very sweet, strawberries. I am afraid: Not very enjoyable. Besides that I got plenty of smoke and a variety of burnt attributes. Not so much enjoyable as well. A typical light bodied cold climate Pinot without a lot of complexity, good acid, but with far too much, almost aggressive / mawkish seeming, fruit sweetness. Definitely quaffable, but not for me! Next!
Weingut Koehler-Ruprecht Pinot Noir R 2002, Pfalz
As I mentioned earlier this Pinot Noir R 2002 from Weingut Koehler-Ruprecht was a substitute, a highly unfair substitute. Simply to the fact that this one cost three times more than the other Pinots. I think I needed something allegedly good to end my tasting day with a Quality Moment ;-)!
This Pinot's colour was very transparent, still astoundingly juvenile looking, almost no discolourations on the rim and very radiant-ruby-red. The nose was highly elegant and aristocratic, but not too super complex. I got distinct scents of smoke, very mildly boiled red fruits (mostly strawberry) combined with impressions of fresh fruits (mostly strawberry again), some hints of earth and connotations of mushroom risotto. Its taste was very precise and fruitful (once again mostly strawberries), little bit boiled once aging, very fine and elegant smoke, quite some mushroom feelings (no misunderstanding, please ;-) Ha!) and hints of roasted flavours. Not too complex, like the nose, but tremendously present, lively and precise. Due to its age it wasn’t lacking of silky smoothness either. Very smooth and fruitful, almost a bit too much. But that is my unique “problem”! So, do ignore my last sentence, please. Very profound and long lasting finish as well. One con though! Finish it within 3 to 4 hours after opening and refrain from decanting. It won’t benefit at all. Better put: It will deteriorate pretty fast! Anyway, that won’t be a big problem. For me it was a very easy going Pinot Noir with a certain amount of demand. Beautiful and joyful demand! Quaffable in its own way!