Posts Tagged ‘pinot noir’

Ata Rangi Pinot Noir and Mountain Ice Icewine

Wednesday, 14 July, 2010

Crimson Pinot NoirMountain Ice 2009 Viognier/Chardonnay IcewineAnother two-for-one wine post. The Pinot Noir is by Ata Rangi in Martinborough, New Zealand, vintage 2008. I really liked the previous Pinot Noir I had, so it was good to try a different one. We took this bottle to a local pizza restaurant. The colour is a striking transparent crimson red. The aroma I didn’t get a good handle on I’m afraid – it was mostly a heady alcoholic smell, with nothing else I could really recognise apart from the usual “red wine” smell. The taste, however, was a triple-layered development of flavours. At first it was very dry and mild, and both M. and I detected the slight prickle of fermentation. I understand this is usually considered a fault in red wines, but pinot noir seems light enough that it doesn’t seem astray. The overall effect was quite un-wine-like, with almost a chalky feel to it. In fact, it reminded me of the taste of a soluble aspirin. But after a few seconds, the flavour developed into a pleasant fruity number, mostly reminiscent of raspberries. Leaving it sit in the mouth for a while longer started to bring out some mild tannin. Overall I’d say I was happy with it, but perhaps not as nice as the previous pinot.

Today’s second wine is an icewine I bought on our recent day trip to the Blue Mountains. It’s from Orange Mountain Winery, near Orange in inland New South Wales. They freeze the Viognier and Chardonnay grapes artificially to concentrate the sugar for this sweet dessert wine. A sticker on the bottle says it won “Best Icewine” at the 2009 International Sweet Wine Challenge. It’s a gorgeous luminous pale straw yellow in colour. The smell is of citrus fruits, with orange and lemon coming out. But the taste is very different, being strong tropical fruits – passionfruit and pineapple, with a touch of orange. And it’s exceedingly sweet – possibly the sweetest wine I’ve ever tasted; I certainly can’t recall a sweeter one. All of which make it delicious and more-ish. I want to see if I can find more of this one! We had this at home with a platter of brie, jarlsberg, and a cream cheese with apricot and almond in it, on crackers. What better dessert could you want?

Ketu Bay 2008 Pinot Noir

Wednesday, 17 February, 2010

Ketu Bay 2008 Pinot Noir
I really discovered wine only about 4 months ago. I’ve had a few glasses in the past, but never really got into it until I took a long weekend trip with my wife to the Hunter Valley for our wedding anniversary. We live only a couple of hours from one of the world’s great wine regions, and it was the first time I’d really been there. And being a wine region, I decided it might be time to actually sample some wines and attempt to see what all the fuss was about.

More about that trip later. Right now, and what really prompted me to start this blog, is the desire to record my impressions of the first time I ever tried pinot noir. Pinot noir, as I’ve recently learnt, is a cool climate grape, and makes a wide range of wine styles, but tending towards lighter and fruitier. Marlborough in New Zealand is a cool climate, and apparently produces some decent pinot noir.

My first ever pinot noir is this Ketu Bay 2008 vintage from that region. I was at first surprised by the colour, a lighter, more scarlet red than the merlots, cabernet sauvignons, and shirazes I’ve tried over the past few months. The light passes through this wine like through a raspberry jelly, clear and luminous red. The dominant taste is one of fruitiness, with definite notes of strawberry. It was light and pleasant, and it worked well chilled down a bit. (I’m also learning how to describe wines, so my vocabulary will be simplistic and restricted to begin with.)

From my reading about pinot noir, it seems I still have a lot of variety within this grape to look forward to. I’ll seek some more types out and be keen to compare them. And those, along with all the other things I learn about wine, I plan to record here. (But this blog is also going to cover far wider topics, lest anyone think this is going to be just a wine blog.)