Archive for the 'Pinot Noir' Category

Jacobs Creek Chardonnay-Pinot Noir Sparkling Wine

Jacobs Creek Chardonnay-Pinot Noir Sparkling WineJacobs Creek Chardonnay Pinot Noir Sparkling Wine (Brut)
(no vintage) SE Australia, $9.50 for 750 ml
(Sparkling White Wine)

Even if you’ve had a bad day, when you pop open a bottle of sparkling wine, you’ve just got to feel like you’re celebrating.  And in my case, I actually was! 

Not only does Jacobs Creek sparkling wine make a birthday meal seem that much more celebratory, but I also found that it is hard to get depressed about aging when you’re sipping on such a tasty beverage.  Now, that ‘s what I call strategy!

The taste? The JC Chardonnay-Pinot Noir was crisp and refreshing with a bit of green apple zing. I suppose that was the Chardonnay talking.  Although this wine was dry, it did have just a hint of sweetness that gave this bubbly a friendly, festive flair without hitting one over the head with cloying sugaryness as some sparkling wines are apt to do.

Bottom line? A bargain dry sparkling wine.  This sparkling JC Chardonnay Pinot Noir was actually served with a  turkey dinner, so the drier nature went well with our meal.  If you’re looking for a dessert sparkling wine however, (or just something a bit sweeter), I would go with something labeled “Sec”, “Demi-Sec” or for really, really sweet, “Doux”. For more info on Sparkling wines, see antiwinesnob’s article on What’s the Difference between Sweet Wine and Dry Wine and look to the last section on Sparkling Wines.

wine’s website:

Pepperwood Grove Pinot Noir

Pepperwood Grove Pinot NoirPepperwood Grove Pinot Noir

2006,Valle Central, Chile. $7.65 for 750 ml
(Red Wine)

Here’s a curious situation: I was all ready to do some research on the Valle Central region of Chile for your (and my own) edification, and I should probably still do this….

But I thought I should check out Pepperwood’s website first. So I googled the brand and perused their history.

Apparently, the company that produces Pepperwood Grove started off with an Italian immigrant named Samuele who moved to California and began a winery at the start of the 20th century. The business passed down the family line and today, the “3 Loose Screws Wine Company” produces varietal wines under an assorted number of brands such as Smoking Loon, Pepperwood Grove and Screw Kappa Napa.

How cozy, right? Well, I’m sure it is, but what confuses me is that my wine says, “Valle Central, Chile.” On the website, the “Three Loose Screws Wine Company” avers their Pepperwood Grove Pinot Noir ( with “notes of rose water and cherry preserves”) as having been grown in the [very specific?] appellation of “California”.

Is it just me, or does there seem to be another continent involved on my bottle of wine?

I researched the Pepperwood Pinot (“PP”) some more and found other reviews of the PP hailing from Italy, Australia and (of course) California. Huh.

In any case, whether the wine is from Australia, Chile, Italy, California or the tundra of Siberia, what I’m here to do is tell you of the taste. And I don’t take my duty lightly. So I put away the globe, uncorked the Pinot, poured a glass and gave it a sniff. The smell was actually not to my liking. It smelled a bit sour or tart.Moving on, I took a sip. The flavor was much more pleasant than the smell and had a bit more body than I expected. There was an undercurrent of sweetness to the wine that I’m not sure if I cared for or not, but there was also a pleasant bite of acidity and a deeper taste that left me interested. And while the Pepperwood Pinot tasting notes cited a gamut of cherry, rose water, plum, clove, strawberry and “earthy tones” flavors, I don’t think I caught all of that. Honestly, I don’t think this wine was that complex.

Bottom line? The 2006 Pepperwood Grove Pinot Noir from Valle Central, Chile isn’t bad if you’re not expecting anything in particular. I’m not a big Pinot fan, but I get the feeling that if I were, I might be rather disappointed. However, if you’re just interested in trying different wines and are curious, I say give it a try. It’s certainly not one of my favorites, but, for the price, it’s worth the experience I think.

Besides, it’s kind of a sci-fi, Doctor-Who moment to be drinking a wine labeled from Chile, only to find no trace of such a thing on its own website…. Do you think there is a conspiracy involved?

wine’s website:

Camelot Pinot Noir

Camelot Pinot NoirCamelot Pinot Noir

2005, Vin de Pays D’Oc, $7.50 for 750 ml
(Red Wine)

I was so enamored with Camelot’s Merlot, that I thought I’d give their Pinot Noir a try. But this time, I did a little research first.

The bottle of Camelot Pinot Noir indicates that the wine is from Vin de Pays D’Oc. On the back label, it is explained that the grapes are actually imported from France and bottled in California.

I googled Vin de Pays D’Oc and discovered that this region is located in Southern France, near the Mediterranean Sea. It is said to be the largest vineyard in the world and, unlike many other regions in France, wines from Vin de Pays actually label the wine by its grape variety. How nice of them. I wonder if they provide free tours of their vineyards as well….

But enough of import/export. What did the Camelot Pinot Noir taste like? I found it to be smooth, mild in tannins (which is to be expected in a Pinot) and–here’s what surprised me–mild in acid, too. Normally, I’ve found other Pinot Noir to be rather acidic and the other flavors a bit too weak or fragile for my taste. But this Pinot Noir tasted more like a Merlot to me than a Pinot. It was much mellower and round flavored than I expected.

Bottom Line? I liked it and the soft, round flavors surprised me. It was very smooth and quite different than other Pinot Noir I’ve sampled. But, out of the two Camelot wine’s I’ve tried, I prefer the Merlot.

wine’s website:

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