The great thing about wine tastings at a wine shop or wine bar is the opportunity it gives you to taste several wines side by side. Most people don’t usually open up three to five bottles at home to try at one sitting. Wednesday night’s wine tasting with Timothy at neighborhood wine shop, Planet Wine, gave customers the opportunity to travel around the world with the Pinot Noir grape tasting what this varietal can be like coming from France (Loire Valley and Burgundy), New Zealand and the United States (Oregon and California).

The similarities and difference you discover through these kinds of tastings are always fun! Pinot Noir is a light grape overall but coming from each region you get different aromas and tastes from it. As we moved around the world, the wines got more body and spice but each is lovely in its own way showing you the beauty of each wine region around the world.

Domaine Naudet Jean & Michel 2008 Sancerre Rouge

  • Grape Variety: Pinot Noir from the Loire Valley, France
  • Aroma: Bright berry
  • Taste: Tart cranberry and cherry with mineral and herbal tones
  • Price: $22.00
  • Thoughts: The first in the line up was the brightest in color of the wines, almost rosé looking, and brightest in taste. France does not allow vine irrigation in any wine region and this definitely impacts the grape depending on the year’s weather. Here you have a lighter Pinot Noir. I love Sancerre in a white wine so neat to try a rouge.

Domaine Maillard Pére et Fils 2009 Bourgogne

  • Grape Variety: Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
  • Aroma: Round cherry
  • Taste: Cherry with hints of chocolate, vanilla and earthy
  • Price: $22.99
  • Thoughts: Second in the line up and also in France, this wine has more body, slightly more red color in the wine and more complexity of flavors with cherry, chocolate and vanilla.

Saint Clair Family Estate 2010 Vicar’s Choice

  • Grape Variety: Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand
  • Aroma: Slight sweet berry aroma with hints of oak
  • Taste: Bright sweet strawberry with cinnamon spice undertones
  • Price: $17.99
  • Thoughts: Third in the line up, we moved to New Zealand. The heat of the Southern Hemisphere for this grape makes it a more concentrated fruit taste. You really get a bang when you taste it coming off the French wines. This is now Pinot Noir with some oak aging giving it more toast and spice flavor.

Anne Amie Cuvée A 2009 Pinot Noir

  • Grape Variety: Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon, U.S.
  • Aroma: Ripe cherry and strawberry
  • Taste: Cherry, strawberry with spice and earthiness
  • Price: $26.99
  • Thoughts: Fourth in the line up, we moved to the U.S. Willamette Valley in Oregon known for Pinot Noir and Burgundian in style (like the Domaine Maillard Pére above although this wine has more body and is more round). I love Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs!

Ampelos Cellars 2007 Pinot Noir-Lamda

  • Grape Variety: Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, California, U.S.
  • Aroma: Deep cherry
  • Taste: Cherry, herbal, licorice
  • Price: $26.99
  • Thoughts: Last in the line up, we moved south in the U.S. to California. The Sta. Rita Hills are known for Pinot Noir. This wine was the fullest in body and darkest in color but still great clarity. Really nice wine and neat winery worth checking out (they also have a bed and breakfast in Greece…thus the Greek influence on their wine names).

Cheers to Pinot Noir![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]