August 14th, 2009

Sarah Goes To IPNC

There were over 60 wines to taste at the IPNC this past July. The highlights from the day were:

Cedric Bouchard’s Les Ursules: the Blanc de Noir tasted of straw, yeast, wild strawberries, and had a texture like crème Chantilly.  I could have gone home happy right there. 

Domaine Fougeray de Beauclair treated us to their 2007 Bonnes Mares.  Once the wine opened up it tasted of cranberry, wild strawberry, roses, and leather. 

Domaine Anne et Herve Sigaut, Premier Cru Chambolle Musigny 2006: bright cherry, raspberry, red currant, and black tea.  

The range in styles of Pinot Noir made in Oregon was impressive.  Three examples are:

Brick House Wine Co 2007 'Les Dijonnais' (Newberg, OR): light color cherry, raspberry, red currant, dries herbs.

The Belle Pente 2006 Estate Reserve (Carlton, OR) was a more extracted style with cherry, earth, raspberry, and spices.

Hamacher 2006, Carlton, OR: full bodied, rich style with cherry, plum, and warm spicy notes and balanced acidity.

LIOCO has an interesting backstory.  While they are located in Los Angeles, they are able to source fruit from top growing regions in California.  With their resources the people at LIOCO showcase the fruit and terrior by using only stainless steel in the production of their whites and neutral oak in the production of their reds.  The 2007 Michaud Pinot Noir was edgy, with flavors of cranberry, wild strawberry, and cherry pits.  As a bonus LIOCO brought one of their Chardonnay's as well.  This wine was fresh, grapey, and round with ample acidity for balance.

Caramel Road (Soledad, CA) brought one of their designates, the 2007 Placentia.  This very small production wine was earthy and smokey and tasted like cherries and plums.

Kooyong Winery from Mornington Penninula (Victoria) aptly demonstrated that Pinot Noir of delicacy and grace can be made in a country famous for over the top ‘powerhouse’ reds. The 2007 Ferrous is still decidedly Australian with tinge of fresh mint, dried herbs, cranberry,and cherries throughout. 

Pyramid Valley Vineyards (Canterbury, NZ) was pouring their 2006 Earth Smoke pinot noir.  It was bold and fine at the same time with flavors of dried herbs, red currants, raspberries, and earth.

Rene Mure’s 2006 Clos St. Landelin (Alsace) showed that even in more northern climes the right vineyard exposure can produce Pinot Noir that is ripe and alive with a graceful blend of terrior and fruit.

The Austrian wineries confirmed that this country’s wine scene is not all just about its killer whites. The wine from Gobelsburg, while light in color, had a meaty texture and flavor that was unexpected.

The toughest part of the tasting was trying to stay out of the baking sun and staying cool in the shade. Everyone, no exceptions, needs to plan a trip to Portland because the food is great! Go. Go now. At the tasting there were delicious roast pork sandwiches, cannelles (a kind of portable creme brulee if you will), macaroons, and other delicacies to sample. The winemakers attending were dedicated to sustainable production and indigenous yeast. Finally, without a doubt, Pinot Noir is particularly delicious when bubbles are involved. Who am I kidding, Pinot Noir is delicious period and my afternoon at the IPNC supported that.