Thursday, June 9, 2011

Battle of the Pinot Noirs

It's about time I posted on my wine blog again! I've had a trio of bottles waiting on me to do a tasting flight. It's been so long since I bought them that I somehow started thinking they were Rieslings, but NO--they're all Pinot noir! How could I have made them wait so long?

Of these three bottles, we're covering three different years and three different countries.

Just had to show you the cutesy
 little penguin footprints
imprinted on the foil
Up first is the 2010 Little Penguin from south eastern Australia. The label tells me to look for delicate flavors of cherry and strawberry with a hint of spice. It's the brightest, reddest one of the three, and OH, it smells so good! Maybe that's just because it's been too long since I've had a Pinot noir. But I do smell red berries. As for the taste: Wow, that's quite sweet for a Pinot noir. Not too sugary-sweet, though; just fruity-sweet. It takes a bit for the spiciness to come out, but after a moment it hits with a zing.

Next is the 2009 Red Bicyclette from Vin de Pays D'Oc, France. The label claims enticing aromas of fresh red fruits and a soft, smooth mouthfeel. It looks slightly orange-red in my glass (though I'm sure some of you would call it pink-red instead). Oddly enough, there's not much to the nose. Maybe it's not completely odorless, but it's close. And, well, there's not much to the taste, either.

Finally, it's the 2008 Cupcake Vineyards from the central coast of California. The label suggests the bright aroma of cherries with a touch of red currants and a hint of spices. It's "reminiscent of a cherry cupcake with currant coulis*" (whatever that is). I see there's a slight purplish tinge to the deep red color, and it's not quite as clear as the other two (or maybe it's just in a glass that's a tad more smudgy? I'll never tell). It has more of a sharp green odor than the other two, though that's not necessarily a bad thing. Something about it makes me want to break out the cheddar cheese. The taste, however, is not great. It's rather bland. But I'm sure the cheese will help, and if you'll give me a moment I'll let you know . . . YES, it's excellent with cheese. But only with the cheese.

I wonder if the poor Red Bicyclette would be helped by cheese?
Let's see . . . nope. For whatever reason, that one actually tastes worse with cheese.

My verdict: I like Australia's Little Penguin the best, although California's Cupcake with cheddar cheese is a close second. The French Pinot noir was my least favorite, although if France keeps all of her best wines to herself, that's not too surprising.

*I looked up coulis for you, and apparently it's like gravy made of fruit. I'm sure it tastes better than it sounds.


  1. I've had some good Pinot Noirs recently. Not that I can remember which ones though...

  2. That was my problem before I started this wine blog! I could usually remember if I'd tried a wine, but not whether I'd liked it. Even now, if I don't have access to my blog I'm lost! Well, if you do recall any of the good ones you've had, I'm all ears (or eyes).