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 ...

To the outward the Alma Estate Pinot Noir 2014 showed a posterboy ruby colour which appeared very shiny and downright transparent. Its nose was packed with fruitful fragrances which reminded me of slightly kitsch'y strawberries and a firm trace of cassis. Besides that it showed hints of hay, pimento, unfortunately some glue and a complementary shy whiff of caramel. The taste of the Alma was very fruitful, not too hot (but a bit warm with given time) as well as much more reduced and earthy than expected. Unfortunately quite a bit alcoholic (14%), too. Compared to the nose the fruit seemed a bit more dark and showed a slightly tart finish (which was fine to me). The stronger caramel aroma on tongue wasn't so dear to me. Same for the flavours from a more seasoned appearing oak influence. The overall length of the finish was mostly okay. In the first two to three hours I've enjoyed it the most. So, I suggest to speed up your drinking habits ... a bit. To me the Alma was a modern'ish fruit-driven easy drinking Pinot, which wasn't not all too subtle or even sophisticated but surely fun and still located in my so la-la*** spectrum.

Next time I will send my tongue back Down Under. Just a bit further than last time. Haven't been to the long white cloud for a while. 

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