Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Spicy Pinot Noir to Warm Up Your Winter Nights

We're socked in on the coast, with fog and rain. It's a glorious change from the warm temperatures that have hung around in Southern California. The fire is going, there's the smell of wood smoke in the air.

It's perfect weather for a spicy Pinot Noir.

The 2004 La Rochelle Pinot Noir from Monterey County was an excellent QPR find at just under $20. I purchased my bottle for $19.99 through WineQ, the online wine club with the Netflix-like system of queing up wines for automatic delivery. What first struck us was its beautiful, bright ruby color. Then were were aromas of cherry and spice that managed to retain their freshness (even though that combination should have reminded us of cherry pie). When sipped, it revealed flavors of cherry, pepper, and allspice with an extra kick of spice at the end. This wine was nicely made, with a good balance between the supple fruit and the acidity at the core.

Pinot Noir and pork are excellent together. With this bottle we had some marinated and grilled pork tenderloins--it's colder in California but we can still grill outside!--and my mom made some Potatoes Anna in a cast iron skillet. Both the pork and the potatoes were lovely with the wine's fruit flavors, and they brought out meaty and earthy notes that we didn't taste when we sipped it on its own.

I saw that dhonig from 2 Days Per Bottle got a flawed bottle of this wine. My sympathies go out to him--he missed a real treat! (And I'm glad that the good people at WineQ are already speeding him a replacement bottle)


Anonymous said...

I'm enjoying some Pinot Noir on this chilly pre-Thanksgiving night as well, Dr. Debs. It's the Albert Pichot Vieilles Vignes for me. Have a great holiday!

Pablo Lastorta said...

Hey Debs, I'm a pretty-long time reader first time posting. You hit the nail on the head, it's perfect weather for a Pinot. Have you ever tried one from the Patagonia Region in Argentina? Couldn't find one that you reviewed yet, but they are something unique. I'm lucky enough to have one from a winery in Neuquen that we are importing early next year. Excellent quality at a ridiculous price point. Probably will sell under $10 or $11 Retail. The winery is GRITTINI Family Winery. Coming soon to a Southern Californian retail store near you.

Love you blog! Keep it going! Happy Thanksgiving.


Marshall Æon (Enneagram) said...

Great review! Thanks for the buzz and for all the extra traffic. :)