On the Oregon Trail Part 4: Hunting some Burgs with Evesham Wood Le Puits Sec Pinot Noir 2007, Eola-Amity Hills

Last week it was time for an inevitable situation! A kind of situation I personally don't like: Contest situations. Of course in the end a pretty dumb undertaking! Especially in terms of wine. Whatever, a bit of suspense never hurts! What kind of contest? A contest situation featuring my new Pinot Noir-Adoration Oregon Pinot versus a wild assortment of Burgundians from Nuits-Saint-Georges, Morey-Saint-Denis, Savigny-Les-Beaune etc. and the 4th Teutonic Tinto!

Evesham Wood Le Puits Sec Pinot Noir 2007, Eola-Amity Hills

My second Evesham Wood so far. The Le Puits Sec is a single vineyard wine from Eola-Amity Hills AVA a bit north-west of Salem. The 25 year old vines (Pommard clones 113, 114, 115, 777) were cultivated on rather shallow volcanic basalt soils and since 2000 farmed under organic principles.

The colour of the Le Puits Sec was super radiant, very vital and almost shockingly bright (probably a 2007 thing). No clear signs of aging in the coronal region. I have to confess a really attractive hue. Doesn't happen so often to me. The nose seemed reserved and impassable in the first few hours. Maybe some traces of typical Oregon funk and cowshed impressions were largly apparent. These impressions eased after a while and very subtle fragrances (or even mild perfume) of bright red berries and gentle rosé-white flowers evolved. Besides that I was under the impression of a diffuse cold spring morning in the countryside. Don’t really know how to elaborate this impression in an adequately manner. The taste was rather filigree, super vitalizing, full of various subtle and lean fruit flavours (the usual suspects) and mildly equipped with flavours of wet forest floor and volcanic minerals. The acid was highly “difficile” and invigorating. Oh hell, I don’t want to repeat myself over and over again. That is why I better shut up! Just one thing: refined, subtle, filigree, long lasting, floral’y clear fruitful, vital and quiet (or shy) Pinot Noir! Don’t expect a softy or swanky or full bodied or Sugar Baby New World Pinot!
PS: Again, an absolutely different style compared to the other Oregon Pinots I presented so far on this blog!

Domaine de l'Arlot Nuits-Saint-Georges Clos des Forets Saint-Georges 1er Cru 2003

Probably a bit of an experiment! I am not really a big fan of this vintage. On the other hand I haven’t had so many aged ones either. Most of the Burgs, including some really big shit growths, I have tasted at a young stage did not really conquer my heart. This however seemed to have some certain appealing and complex qualities. The colour of the Clos des Forets was as I’ve expected it to be: plenty of discolourations, a bit flat and murky. In the first hours the nose appeared very dusty muddy fruitful (not boiled, more dried fruits), a bit earthy and smoky, not really super complex and rather sweet (not for 2003s). Later (approx. 8 hours) more subtle fragrances of dried fruits, traces of coffee, reduced Christmas herbs and dusty forest feelings evolved up and above my expectations. The taste underwent a rather similar evolution. At first a bit bovine, almost hot and very much characterized by dried fruits. Later a very firm, dark, strong (not overpowered), highly ripe fruit character accompanied with coffee, dark earth, Christmas’y herbs and dark choco flavours evolved. For me a rather cunning output for a 2003 NSG. At no time I felt disgusted or disgruntled by any hot, boiled, weak in acid, superimposed or super sweet aromas. The complexity gained with the actual “business hours” (especially on the second day!), the length was very decent and the overall balance smooth, but toned. Very enjoyable, a bit mildly sweetened and "not that weak" Pinot Noir which was totally different to the Le Puits Sec. Hard to compare those two wines. For me it had no chance to get at the level of sophistication (a term I wouldn't use in association with the NSG) and complexity of the Evesham Wood.


Domaine Forey Morey-Saint-Denis 2002

Pity! Slight flaw triggered by cork influence. Besides this defect I got the impression of a rather strong and for a village very concentrated character. Unlike many 2002 Pinots the stern'ish acid seemed not that dominating. Other impressions were a rather coarse and slightly awkward structure, a bit too boozy, well equipped with smoke and full of moist undergrowth (maybe enforced by the defect!) Not a really filigree, complex or elegant representative of a Morey-Saint-Denis

Domaine Tollot-Beaut Savigny-Champ-Chevery 1er Cru 2002

Very good and successful example for the Tollot-Beaut house style. A posterboy for a combination of good accessibility and more than just decent quality. The colour looked astoundingly young, radiant, a bit dark and very juicy. The nose was absolutely balanced, very ballsy, fruitful (mostly juicy dark cherries), not too subtle, but in its own way expressive and slick-elegant. Absolutely nothing to bitch about. The inspiring qualities were limited. The taste was well crafted. Very round and soft with decent subtleness, nicely relaxed fruit flavours of dark cherries and hints of dark autumnal herbs. Maybe here and there some backward oak flavours as well. The concentration seemed very balanced, the acid remarkably tamed (for a 2002 Burg) and the finish well put. The actual complexity wasn’t highly demanding, but certainly not faceless. I might describe this as a modern “interpretation” of red Burgundy. I probably don’t want to loose any word about the good old terroir characteristics. It’s an overstretch term and not really applying to this wine. I most definitely enjoyed this wine very much. However, for me it can’t touch the astounding high complexity and quiet sophistication of the Le Puits Sec!

Domaine Hudelot-Noellat Bourgogne Rouge 2005

Definitely a classic! At first the it appeared very reserved, a bit dairy’ish, maybe a bit barn’y and tart. Later it was characterized by nice dark berries, lean black cherries, a rather relaxed and outward classical style, very well balanced acid and a vital semi concentrated body. Easy going complexity with contenting finish. Could use one or two more years to evolve to a possible peak performance. Not a high-flyer, but still a decent Bourgogne from an extraordinary beautiful vintage.

Weinfamilie Fendt Spätburgunder Zwei Null Neun 2009, Baden

A Pinot from a wine project orchestrated by the sommelier of a 3 star restaurant in the depths of the northern Black Forest. A rather unusual and pretty juvenile seeming Pinot Noir with a lean, cool and acidic character. Nose like taste seemed rather obtrusive (perhaps influenced by the high alcohol, 14%), too smoky and a bit bitter. The fruit flavours were dominated by dark berries and very lean and dry cherries. Besides these impressions I sensed a fair amount of greenery flavours. Maybe too young, but in the end definitely not my cup of Pinot! Too pretentious in its own leaner way! Probably an alcohol (+ a bit young) issue ...

Weingut Fürst Weissburgunder Pur Mineral 2011, Franken

Had just a few sips for refreshment purposes. Rather stern, poor in fruit, decently mineral, quite lean and very stainless. Opend a day or so in advance. Better no rating ;-) 

Misson Accomplished! 

Oregon Rules (at least this time)!

Nice tasting! Thanks for showing guys!

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