No Trophy Pinot Noirs For Me: Part 1

Burgundy is simply the best for Pinot Noir for those whose fat wallets are willing to drop a bundle of cash for trophy wines. Not being a captain of industry, cardiologist, neurologist or a lottery winner my budget is limited.

So laugh away fat cats as I try a $17.95 Rock Point Pinot Noir 2018. Oregon is the state in the United States that many say is the best locale for Pinot Noir.

The wine is ruby coloured. On the nose raspberry, red cherry and pomegranate. Light on the tannins and the acids are well under control. On the palate a very gentle and low-key Pinot Noir with sweet red cherry, raspberry all with a medium finish dusted with a bit of pepper. A solid basic Pinot Noir that shames most French Burgundian Pinot Noirs at double the price.

I would say drink by 2023 but I do not expect it to improve with ageing. As for food wild salmon or duck breast with a cherry sauce or if you have brought some duck rillette from your last trip to France. Do you remember the last time you were in France or across any ocean? Yes before COVID blacklisted air travel.

I can imagine a Silicon Valley tech mogul serving this to his Millennial employees at a summer corporate barbeque with everyone saying the boss really knows his wine!

(Rock Point Pinot Noir 2018, Rock Point, Gold Hill Oregon, $17.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 463018, 750 mL, 13.7%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating,90/100).

If I were to say Spaetburgunder from Germany deserves a try you might look at me with terrified eyes saying what the hell is that! Well it’s a mouthful but rest easy as it is Germany’s name for Pinot Noir. So let’s try a Königschaffhauser Steingrüble 2018 Pinot Noir. I see it at least a couple times every year as a Liquor Control Board of Ontario release for a few years now and I am sure the wine’s name has been deGermanized so it is called a Pinot Noir and is more marketable in the Canadian market place. By analogy the Australians call Syrah Shiraz while most of the rest of the wine world calls it Syrah.

It’s a little darker than most Pinot Noirs. On the nose it is also more assertive than many Pinot Noirs but the aroma is unmistakably that of the Pinot Noir grape. A nose of very ripe local just picked raspberries, black cherry and cedar planks. On the palate it is easy on the tannins and the acids are well integrated into the wine. It is a full throttle Pinot Noir full of raspberry jam, cassis and cherry pie with a bit of spice in the finish. It could be that the volcanic soil this Pinot Noir grows in gives the wine a strong personality. It would suit grilled beef and lamb. The LCBO catalogue says this would pair well with grilled sausages, lamb or mushroom burgers. Sausages so very German!

I’ll sum things up say this is a rugged Pinot Noir that might settle down over the next couple of years and improve in the bottle.

(Königschaffhauser 2018 Steingrüble Pinot Noir, Qualitätswein Trocken, $18.95, LCBO # 460410,750 mL, 14%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 88/100).

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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