Evesham Wood Cuvée J Pinot Noir 2010, Eola-Amity Hills

In the past year – well, in some places we already are in 2018 – I've really been one hell of a lazy Pinot prick around here. I hope this will change in 2018. Well, "we'll see what happens …“ Aaanyway, I don't want to slide away into the next year without mentioning one more Pinot Noir! In early November Joy, Chas and Dan from Portland came over to Teutonia to a have a drink or two or most probably more. Today's Pinot was by far the most memorbale of these drinks. The Cuvée J Pinot Noir 2010 from Evesham Wood showed combined characteristics some might find in "Old“ and "New“ World Pinots …!? The vines for the Cuvée J were cultivated in the Eola-Amity Hills on Nekia, Jory and Woodburn soils. It is a barrel selection from the best barrels of each vintage. Btw the "J“ derives from Jayer – Henri Jayer … it is an honor thing! The assorted Pommard clones were all planted in 1986. So, quite seasoned ones. The ageing took place in about 40% new French oak. So, let's go ...


Leichte Weisslichkeiten aus Lusitanien

Über die letzten Wochen habe ich einige zur Leichtigkeit neigende weisse Portugiesen verkostet ... und natürlich getrunken. Folgend nun eine kleine und für meine Verhältnisse ungewohnt kurze (glücklicherweise) Zusammenfassung ... 


Happy Halloween: Weinbau Kraemer Müller-Thurgau Steillage 2015, Franken

Year in and year out there must be some room for a little Halloween interlude on my blog! This year it is time for some Müller-Thurgau! Wines made from Müller-Thurgau have doubtlessly an enormous potential to be a perfect match with this “holiday”. Most of them are frightful and downright scary! This Steillagen Müller-Thurgau 2015 from Stephan Kraemer is different! Luckily, it does not really have such a questionable potential! Let's have a look ...


Ten Minutes by Tractor Pinot Noir 10X 2012, Mornington Peninsula

Back to Straya! Of course not to one of those massive Fatty Finn kind'ish regions like Barossa, McLaren or Coonawarra (by the way, why was this kid-movie character called Fatty Finn? Can't remember! He wasn't fat, wasn't he? Maybe some local reader has an answer …). Well, what would the tongue of a despicable Burgundy wine snob – like mine do in such places after all?! There are far too many interesting, and perhaps still not so extremely well know, cooler climate wine regions in Australia. So, this time it had to be Mornington Peninsula a bit south-east of Melbourne – again. This time without ridiculous anecdotes from my student travels in Victoria. Promise! With the Aylward Pinot Noir some months ago I was a bit too chatty ... I am afraid. I don't want you to get a wrong impression of me. I didn't (constantly) fill myself up with cheap local fizz etc. (but no evil Rosé, even I had to keep a trace of self esteem). I also enjoyed some really nice and mostly cooler appearing Shiraz based wines from the north-west of Melbourne and the Yarra Valley. Something I really got to get back to! It is just so tricky to get these wines in Europe. Perhaps early next year I will give it a try! 

Anyway, now to today's Pinot Noir! It was produced by a rather well know local wineproducer called: Ten Minutes by Tractor – referring to the distance between the three original vineyards of the winery. In 1982 Richard McIntyre purchased land "that was to become Moorooduc Estate and began his own wine voyage of discovery, a voyage that was to intersect with Ten Minutes By Tractor when, already with over a decade of winemaking experience, he made our first experimental wines in 1999 and the first commercial release the following year“. In the early 1990s the McCutcheon and Wallis families joined in. But until 1999 all of them sold most of their grapes and did only some experimenting for themselves. So, it took a while to establish the now quite successful business. Today's 10X Pinot Noir was pretty much produced right from the start. Its first vintage was 2000. The grapes for my 2012 10X Pinot Noir were cultivated on the vineyards: Coolart Road (76%), Northway (10%), Wallis (8%) and McCutcheon (6%). The used clones were: MV6 (46%), 115 (30%), 777 (16%), Pommard (5%) and G5V15 (3%). Have I mentioned that Ten Minutes by Tractor has a magnificently detailed webpage? Check it if you are into details. I better won't overdo it with the specifics here! Back to the wine. The grapes were handpicked between March 1st and 23rd and fully destemmed. A subsequent 4-6 day pre-ferment maceration preceded a 100% wild yeast fermentation with manual plunging throughout and followed by a short post-ferment maceration of 17-22 days on skins. The ageing in 18% new medium toasted French oak took place for about 10 months. So, let's just see what I've tasted in this one ...


Cascina Baricchi Vino Rosso P-N 2010, Piemonte

The frequent reader of this wine-blog might have realized it a long time ago! I am shameless! Shameless in terms of almost everthing related to wine and particulary in terms of my Pinot Noir adverntures! I had bottles from almost everywhere around the globe. Rare ones, surprising ones, miserable ones, ones from afar and course plenty from rather “strange“ lands. But venturing into holy realms of one oft the Big B wine regions - apart of the best and most wonderful of all them big Bs of course - to have some Pinot? That, I have never dared to do … publicly! As most wine friends know Langhe, the direct encircling neighbourhood to Barolo and Barbaresco, is one of those legendary wine regions many sought to get a little drip of soma on their tongue. Me included … probably!?! Varietals, soils, expositions are similar to Barolo and Barbaresco. Only the allowed varietals differ (a bit). Anyway, enough prelude blather! So today it is time for Piedmotese Pinot Nero. Cascina Baricchi, the producer which I haven't mentioned yet, concentrates mostly on wines made from traditional Piedmontese grape varitetals such as Barbera, Dolcetto, Timorasso and of course Nebbiolo as well as quite a variety of fizz made from Nebbiolo, Syrah (!), Pinot Nero and Moscato. The winery was established in the late 1980s by Giovanni Simonetta and since 1996 his agile and adventerous son Natale is in charge of the production. All grapes of the approx. 6 ha small winery are cultivated on lime-loamy-marl soils close to Neviglie a few kilometers upthehills from Alba. The maceration of the "P-N" 2010 Langhe Rosso took 10 days in oak and was subsequently aged in used Barrique barrels from 12 months. Let's have a sip or two or better more ...


Chateau LaFayette Reneau Pinot Noir 2013, Finger Lakes New York

I have sent my tongue along the Hudson River. I've sent it to Long Island – where by the way the best wines in the Empire State might come from - but that's just my opinon … and even more scary might be the fact that these pretty convinving potations were made from, errr from … I almost not dare to type it: Mmm ... Merlot! Whatever, today I am glad to send my tongue to the Finger Lakes betweeen Syracuse, Buffalo, the outback of north Pennsylvania and mighty Lake Ontario. Of course it is not the first time I let my tongue venture in this area. I had a few fairly good Rieslings, some solid Chardonnay, one or two interesting over-peppery Cabernet Sauvignons and wines from unmentioned varietals I actually don't want to try all too often. Anyway, but I've never had a fairly good Pinot Noir, although quite a lot of producers offer wines made from this finest of the finest. Most Pinots I had where easy-drinking fruit-driven at best, quite often displeasingly sugary and unfortunately without exception rather thin representatives of their kind. Today I'll have a Pinot Noir from Chateau LaFayette Reneau from the southeastern slopes of Lake Seneca. Lafayette Reneau was established in 1985 by Dick and Betty Reno. Like so many other winelovers all over the world they decided to go one step further. Not just collecting and drinking. They wanted more. Since then, their main focus lies on wines made from Riesling and Chardonnay from gravely loam soils. Today's Pinot originated from the same gravely loam. After harvest and fermentation it was aged for 12 months in new and used French, Hungarian and American oak barrels then racked together in a tank as well as filtered and stabilized. So, let's give it a try ...


Vinařství Krásná Hora Pinot Noir 2015, Morava

I love Prague! I still do … as it seems! Especially in summer! A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to reaffirm this love. I can't really tell you why exactly I love this surely beautiful city so much. Because beauty isn't everything! There are tons of beautiful places I've been to and many of them did not impress me that much. Perhaps it is the usual daze generated by highly unsensible amounts of cakes, coffee and high-voltage Absinth which might soften my ever critical personality. Noooo, I don't think sooo. I am not as critical as many people d'like to think. So, I assume it is this unusually relaxed – at least unusually relaxed for a large central European city, tranquil, serene and slightly morbid touch to this place which makes it so appealing to me. Well, of course tranquil and serene apart of those well known hords of bachelors from Germany, Britain and other palces in their Borat like swim suits and their slightly louder form of unconcious multilateral-communication. These performances are not so enormously appealing, I think. And there is  Franz and my everlasting love for his stories. And little Krtek the hero of my childhood. And, and, and ... So, I guess there are plenty of reasons to love Prague, but what on earth has this to do with wine!? Well, nothing at all! Or almost nothing at all! Well, in Prague I had the chance to hunt down a couple of bottles of Czech Pinot Noir which isn't that easy to find outside the country! And today I'd like to share the first of these bottles. Thanks to my total inability in the Czech language - by the way a very difficult language - I won't be able to jibber-jabber all to much about today's Pinot. What I can tell you is that it was produced by Vinařství Krásná Hora in Morava, more precise from Starý Poddvorov region, in the very south-east of the Czech Republic alongside the border to Austria and Slovakia. Krásná Hora is a very small family winery with approx. 5 ha. It was established in 2005 and produces wines from various Burgundian varietals as well as Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Muscat, Traminer and Zweigelt. All grapes are cultivated in accordance with organic principles and were grown on loess dominated soils. My Pinot Noir was aged in used oak barrels for round about 12 months. I guess, that is enough.Let's get started ...


Podere Monastero La Pineta Pinot Nero 2012, Toscana

Tasting – and sometimes even drinking, yes – quite a lot (or too much) Pinot Noirs year in, year out, one might be endangered to fall for a feeling of certain indifference or even tedium. Emphasis on the term "might“, of course! Don't worry, I will never truely get bored of Pinot Noir. I am absolutely certain of that! I'm aiming to get somewhere else. Sometimes you might be privileged to have something in your glass (in this case in a not so much loved Zalto) which was different! Different in good! I like different! Actually, I pretty much adore different because it spices up life and conveys you to new places/directions etc. This different, this different in good … in very damn good actually, I had in my very Zalto about a month ago. I am not shy to admid that I do like Italian Pinot Noirs from Lombardia, Trentino, Alto Adige or even those rather pithy, animal'istic, complicated (especially during childhood and teenage years), acidic and tannic fellows from Tuscany as well as Umbria. The Pinot I am refering today originated from Tuscany ... without being too pithy, rustic or whatsoever. To be more precise it originated from Tuscany's heart Chianti ... although my La Pineta Pinot Nero 2012 from Podere Monastero is naturally not permitted to be named Chianti for obvious reasons. In 2000 the oenologist Alessandro Cellai started to cultivate Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot vines in pine groves (therefore its name La Pineta) near Castellina on an overall surface of three hectares at an elevation of roundabout 500 meters above seal-evel. The soils in his vinyards are dominated by limestone. The Pinot Noir clones from French origin were very carefully selected to fit the natural surroundings of the Chianti region. In 2006 the first Pinots from about 1,5 hectares were produced. Merely 875 bottles!!! Since then each vintage were fermented with natural yeasts in temperature controlled (26° C) Allier vats and subsequently aged for 12 months in 100% new Allier barriques with medium toasting.


Quinta de Sant'Ana Pinot Noir 2014, Lisboa

With today's post my absolutely non-disturbing Pinot-dependency is getting more and more obvious! I really must be totally Pinot-driven! Well, to most of you this won't be real news. Anyway, but who on earth is drinking Pinot Noir from a wine country with such a rich and diverse bounty of grape varietals like Portugal??? This, or something like this, must have been on the mind of the clerk in a rather well known wine shop in Lisbon a couple of weeks ago when I explicitly asked for all Portugese Pinot Noirs they have. Perhaps he even had something a bit more "graphic" on his mind. Well, I surely would have deserved such thoughts. Ok, let's stop this Pinot-induced-paranoia and conclude with another filling anyway … Today's Pinot Noir is my third from Portugal in total. The first one was the remarkable Casal Sta. Maria Pinot Noir 2011 a bit north-west of Lisbon. And there was Niepoort's slightly tricky Projectos Pinot Noir 2011 from Douro region. Today, I am back in Lisboa. Round about 30 minutes north of the Portugese capital the Quinta da Sant'Ana produces an assessable range of wines made from quasi locals like Verdelho, Alvarinho or Touriga Nacional as well as "aliens" like Merlot, Pinot Noir and Riesling since the year 2004. The grapes for my Pinot Noir were culitvated on steep slopy calcareous-clay soils in a quite cool hill region just about 12km from the Atlantic Ocean. The grapes were hand-picked, partly crushed by traditional foot treading in Lagares and macerated before allowing natural yeasts to begin the fermentation in stainless steel tanks. The subsequent one year ageing took place in used French barriques. And here we go. Pinot No. 3 from Portugal ...


Biu de Sort Negre Pinot Noir 2015, Costers del Segre

INOX and Pinot Noir aren't a very fashionable combo these days, I think. Well, at least in case of sincerely mentionable wines of certain quality. Living in south-west Germany I am perfectly aware that there are plenty of Pinots which were fermented and aged in stainless steel ... and possibly even heated-up in steel. I really don't want to get into details. It's just too sad ...Today, I would like to refer to a respectable Pinot which were simply kissed by cold steel. I have to admit, I don't know many. On a recent trip to Barcelona I had the pleasure to encounter such a respectable one. The Biu de Sort Negre 2015 produced by Batlliu de Sort in the small Catalan wineregion of Costers del Segre is one nice example that Pinot from steel can be pretty enchanting. First, let me tell you something about Costers del Segre. I assume that not every wine geek on the globe is all too familiar with this relatively new wine region (DO was est. 1988). Costers del Segre is located in the province of Lleyda in the very west of Catalonia. It is a rather scattered region which stretches out over the entire central west of Catalonia (approx. 4500 hectares). The climate of the region is somehow extreme. In winter it is getting easily below 0° C. In summer equally easily over 35° C. Heavy rainstorms (aka snowstorms), droughts, hail and spring frosts are well know as well. The soils of the region are dominated by meagre dark lime soils. So were the vines for the Biu Negre 2015 cultivated on calcerous soils at an elevation of approx. 850 m above sea-level in Sort - Pallars Sobirà (right next to Andorra) which is by the way already in the high Pyrenees. Fermentation took place in large INOX deposits and subsequent ageing in INOX took about 10 months. Let's have a look how this Pinot made in steel was ...


Egon Müller Kanta Riesling Balhannah Vineyard 2008, Adelaide Hills

Fo woin friens who arn't veryy familiaa with the Aussie woin speectrum thiis one myght be quoit a surproiis! Ohhh no ... okay, okay I stop my pathetic (and probably quite offensive) attempt to sound like a local. Sometimes it is really hard to find a good start - and you simply come up with bonkers ideas! Today, I most certainly failed! Anyway, the first time I've heard of this Kanta Riesling - it must be about seven years ago - it surely was a big surprise to me. Egon Müller - (one of) the biggest name(s) in the Riesling business – better try to delete the words in the brackets – producing Riesling in the Adelaide Hills in South Australia!? Okay, it is not like that Egon Müller himself is managing the every day business of this project. This Kanta (= sanskrit for beloved) project is actually a joint-venture between Egon Müller from the sacrosanct Scharzhof in Saar Valley and Adelaide's Michael Andrewartha of East End Cellars. So, the main responsibility for today's Riesling was in the hands of Michael. The actual Balhannah Vineyard though belongs to the well known Shaw & Smith wine company in Balhannah. A third party. The soils of the vineyard are dominated by sandy loam over red clay and are set about an average altitude of 420 metres. Spontaneous fermentation and long maceration were also on the agenda. So, let's have our first sip of this very interesting project Riesling ...


Two Paddocks Winery Picnic Pinot Noir 2012, Central Otago

Remember movies like The Piano, Jurassic Park or The Hunt for Red October? What do these pictures all have in common? Any idea? Well, if you have good eyesight and look at the admittingly tiny photo above a bit closer you might recognize a gentleman. The gentleman to the left. Of course the one on the label, not the one in the background who seems to take his Fido out for an early morning walk in Kensington Gardens. This very gentleman is the - let's say - „unifying dimenson“ with the name: Sam Neill. A still very well known actor from New Zealand who started the Two Paddocks winery as proprietor in 1993 near Gibbston in Central Otago by planting 5 acres of Burgundian Pinot Noir clones. By the way, you can check out his true passion for Pinot Noir in a number of really funny clips on the winery's website. Now back to history: About the same time his friend Roger Donaldson planted another vineyard right next door. Hence the name for the winery was born: Two Paddocks! Since the late 1990s production increased significantly. Since then Two Paddocks produces up to five Pinot Noirs (depending on the vintage) each year. Since 2003 Two Paddocks also produces two Rieslings from Red Bank vineyard in the Alexandra Basin in the south of Central Otago. From a European perspective the true end of the wineworld! A part of today's entry-level Pinot Noir from 2012 with the well fitting name Picnic comes also from this very southern area around Alexandra. The grapes for the Picnic were harvested by hand, up to 85% were de-stemmed and were given a 5 to 7 days of cold maceration. Fermentation on skins with indigenous yeasts took another 5 to 7 days. Afterwards the Picnic was aged for 10 months in 1 to 4 year old French medium toasted barriques. Well, let's have our first sip of this very very distant Pinot Noir ….


Alma Valley Pinot Noir 2014, Crimea

Finally! Pinot from Crimea! Took a couple of years … well, at least in non-bubbling-condition. Thanks to a good friend - Большое спасибо Лена – this wine sopped challenge has finally been accomplished. Unfortunately, this time I won't be able to provide you guys with equally trottering and cheesy reminicent anecdotes like from Australia the other day. Simply because I've never really been to the very East of Europe. Something I desperately have to fetch up with, I suppose. Back to matter on tongue! Alma Estate was founded the first decade of this very century. The actual privatization of agricultural land in Crimea took a bit longer than in other regions of Eastern Europe. The winery is situated in Bakhchisarai area on the western foothills of Crimea a bit north-east of Sevastopol. The climate of this area can be characterized as mild mediterranean, with moderate influence of the Black Sea and good ventilation by sea breezes. Summers can be quite hot. However winters can be strikingly cold which can be a rather tricky from time to time. The soils range from brown loam in the elevated areas to the limestone and marlstone vineyards of the riverlands. This particular soil is know to the locals as "white-eyed clay". With help from Swiss and German experts the actual professional wineproduction started from 2005 to 2008. So, it is a quite new project. Today, Alma cultivates a very wide range of well know European varieties on round about 160 hectares. My Pinot Noir from 2014 was fermented at controlled temperature in both stainless steel and oak tanks and was partially aged in oak barrels. Enough of my dry blather! Now it's time for some serious drinking ...


Ocean Eight Pinot Noir 2010, Mornington Peninsula

It's been quite a drought around here, right?! What an outrageously lazy period without Pinots from distant places or other mildly extraordinary wines from regions somewhere around the globe. More than a months?! Really!? I hardly can look in the mirror! For the future I do vow not to give in such to sluggishness again … I hope ...
To make up for this ignominy I'd like to send my tongue all the way down to Australia onto the beautifully scenic Mornington Peninsula south east of Melbourne. Well, at least I think it was scenic. I've only been there once. Then, well intoxicated with a horrific hangover induced by cheap Shiraz based fizz and shaken by a bumpy and awkwardly chatty minibus ride down a coastal road. Both of which might have blured my memory a bit. In short, I wasn't well … at all. Not to mention the subsequent ferry ride across the bay ... Anyway, I digress! As always! The frequent reader probably got used to my constantly deviating thought processes. Back to the matter on tongue! Today's Pinot from the vintage 2010 was produced by Michael Aylward from Ocean Eight vineyard & winery in Shorehame on the south-east coast of the peninsula. Michael started his winery in 2004 were he and his team cultivate varieties such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and even some Pinot Gris. Mornington Peninsula. The vines for today's Pinot were palanted in 1999 and standing on up to 65 meter high sandy loam vineyards facing north-west. The grapes were picked by hand and underwent fermentaion froid for a respectable long period of four to six weeks. Useing natural yeasts ... of course. After that it was aged for about 12 months in 15% new barriques and three to four year old 500 litre barrels. So let's give it a go ...


Mouton Noir Lieu-Dit Pinot Noir 2011, Willamette Valley

Aufgrund einer in dieser Jahreszeit häufig auftretender Heimsuchung bin ich momentan dazu verdammt eher über Wein zu schreiben als ihn eigentlich zu trinken. Naja, es könnte mich sicherlich schlimmer treffen, zumal es bei dem heutigen Wein visuell äußerst amüsant zugehen dürfte (seht selbst auf dem Foto ;-)). Endlich hat es meine Zunge mal wieder nach Oregon für etwas „Pinot weit weg“ verschlagen. Seit 2007 produziert der in den Vereinigten Staaten recht berühmte Sommelier André Hueston Mack unter dem Label Mouton Noir (sein eigener recht zwiespältiger Spitznahme) unterschiedliche Weine aus verschiedenen Regionen in Oregon und mittlerweile sogar Washington. Die Karriere des gebürtigen New Yorkers entwickelte sich so, wie man sie wahrscheinlich nur in den USA durchleben kann. Sein Weg vom Investmentbanker hin zum Chefsommelier in Thomas Keller's The French Laundary in Napa und weiter zum Grafikdesigner mutet ungewöhnlich erfrischend an. Aber jetzt zum Wein. Beim Lieu-Dit von der Garage-d'Or handelt es sich um den Mittelklasse-Pinot von Mouton Noir. Sein Traubengut stammt aus der ältesten Lage die Mouton-Noir in Oregon zur Verfügung steht. Und ausgebaut wurde er in gebrauchten französischen Barriques. Mal sehen wie er sich so gemacht hat ….


Happy New Year and Marie-Courtin Résonance Champagner Extra Brut, Aube


Well, as you can see for yourselves … a bit dull this time, right? Just Champagne? Nothing weird? Nothing exotic? Can't I don better? Cause I could! Sometimes I just have to surrender to my inherent laziness ... to have something really good, I guess! And by the way this stuff wasn't that dull at all!!!  I just love this Marie-Courtin shit! Not just this Extra Brut Résonace made from 100% Pinot Noir without sugary dosage. I love all the others as well! Even the Blanc de Blanc stuff ... which I am normally not so much into! Yesterday the Résonace showed a very vital and almost sturdy mousse. I must have got myself a recently disgorged bottle. The nose appeared very filigree, nicely accentuated, mostly flowery, however very well equippted with some shy brioche, a whiff of ginger and fragrances which reminded me of mild almond stollen.The fruitful components appeard more yellow citrus'y and packed with red apples. Pretty much the same sensations on the palate. Can't elaborate more properly ... hangover issues, I guess. Anyway, everything was very lean, a hint too juvenile zippy, nevertheless quite seductive and downright zero-dosage-style resolute. Plenty of very crisp and smile-inducing Pinot characteristics, too. Hellishly vivid acid (in a downright positive sense), overall quite elegant and even a bit elevating (sorry for my unusual pathos)! Again, very resolute, vitalizing, very clear, very precise, super crisp and totally sans make-up! Doubtlessly a very decent ***** start into the new year! Let's hope it will be better! At least the starting fizz was much better ...