The newest installment of our "world of" tasting compared six bottles of Pinot Noir from growing areas as diverse as Chile, Italy, and Oregon.
Two of our top three wines were from California, one from a northern appellation, and the other from a central coast growing area.
Kristin's second place wine was the best value of the night, with a Chilean bottle for only $12.
First Place: Ten Acre Pinot Noir 2008 (Russian River Valley). The runaway winner, this reminded tasters of a Portland hunting lodge scene, with scents of pine forest, moss, and cherry. Ina found that it "smells old". Intriguing in the mouth, with flavors of French oak, plums, and blackberry. The most tannin, but also turns smooth and balanced with aeration. This was everyone's favorite except for Ali. Received 34 total points. Andy's bottle. About $40.
Second Place: The Show Pinot Noir 2010 (Leyda Valley). Prunes, raspberry, rubber, and smoke on the nose. Kristin was reminded of "Ludens cough drop". Fruity palate of plums and pear, but also black tea and anise fronds. Everyone gave this at least 3 points, with a total of 20 overall. Kristin's bottle. About $12.
Third Place: Lincourt Pinot Noir 2009 (Sta. Rita Hills). Scents of cola, root beer candy, and cherries. Ina detected notes of "parmesan cheese". Looks and tastes richer, with great acidity and velvety fruit (candied cherry), along with hints of cough syrup, hazelnuts, and brown sugar. Received 16 points. Ali's bottle. About $30.
Vincent Girardin Santenay La Maladière 2009. Unfiltered. Funky aromas of socks, mushrooms, wet soil, and rubber gloves. Lisa noted that it "smells like doctors's office". Tasted old world, with definite minerals and subtle oak. The salty notes led Andy to proclaim, "I'm tasting fish". Ali's favorite of the night. Received 10 points. David's bottle. About $45.
Sineann Pinot Noir Yates Conwill Vineyard 2007 (Willamette Valley). Tasters found cinnamon, fresh cut grass, candied sour cherry, red bell pepper, dust, roses, and celery on the nose. A real blast of fruit on the attack (mostly black cherry), along with a metallic note. Good texture, but turned really strange later on as it evolved. Many thought this one was Italian. Received 2 points. Ina's bottle. About $25.
Altadonna Pinot Nero 2009 (Provincia di Pavia). A savory nose, with spices and anise. Ina was reminded of "grilled steak", with Kristin noting "sharp cheeses". Ali chimed in with "locker room". Tart in the mouth, with flavors of cranberry, pepper, and grapefruit. Lisa felt that this was "like a boat wine". Lighter in weight, with a cheese-like note on the finish. Received 2 points. Lisa's bottle. About $12.