Thursday, June 20, 2013

Washington Pinot Noir vs. Burgundy

Things are slowing down on the pro cycling scene while the anticipation for the 100th edition of the Tour de France is building.  This past week saw some action on the Pro Continental scene at the Tour des Pays de Savoie.  The route is in the general vacinity of Burgundy.  That sounds like a good enough reason to break out some Burgundy.

This week's challenge features a Washington Pinot Noir from the Horse Heaven Hills facing off against a Pinot Noir from the Cote Chalonnais sub-region of Burgundy.

2010 Gilbert Cellars Pinot Noir v. 2009 Domaine Michel-Andreotti Bourgogne Vieilles Vignes

Tale of the Tape

2010 Gilbert Cellars Pinot Noir

100% Pinot Noir from a one acre estate block on the Nine Canyons Ranch vineyard located in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA.

Aged for 16 months in 100% new French Oak Barrels.

Purchased at the Gilbert Cellars Tasting Room in Yakima for $26.20.  It turns out this is a tasting room exclusive.  You can understand why with only a single acre of Pinot Noir available!

2009 Domaine Michel Andreotti Bourgogne Vieilles Vignes

100% Pinot Noir

Aged in Oak Barrels for 9 months.

Purchased from Garagiste for $13.96

Round 1. First opening

Gilbert Cellars is ready to rock from the bell. The nose features strawberry, rhubarb and tart cedar overtones.  The palate is medium bodied with tart red berries, earthy all spice and a tart lightly spiced finish.

Michel Andreotti looks confused, asking "I'm Ron Burgundy?"  This Pinot Noir has much more in common with the unorthodox anchor man Ron Burgandy than with the actual region of Burgundy.  This French Luchador appears to be out of its league with a nose yelling out "corked" with scents of wet dog and band aid.  There is significant concern amongst the crowd surrounding the ring.

Gilbert Cellars takes Round 1 without any serious opposition.

Round 2.  One hour after opening

Michel Andreotti has settled in to the battle.  The nose is much better with tart earthy cranberry and raspberry.  The palate is lightly tart and spicy with medium red berries and a tart finish that includes a hint of white pepper.

Gilbert Cellars is playing to the crowd despite the French Luchador's improvement.  Gilbert blasts the French opponent with a nose of earthy spiced tart red berries, candle wax and some brambly floral notes.  The palate is potent with tart red berries, all spice and some menthol leading to a nice tart lightly spiced finish.

Even with the slight awakening, Gilbert Cellars takes round 2 with ease.

Round 3.  One day later

Gilbert Cellars is building strength and showing some serious stamina for the final round.  The nose shows dusty loganberry, orange zest and brambles.  The palate is slightly darker with loganberry, clove and tart earthy spices that lead to a dry finish that includes subtle menthol notes.

Michel Andreotti has final awoken from slumber.  Of course, chasing with a single rider can be futile.  This luchador is showing some strength but it may be too late.  The nose is bold with rich cherry, cinnamon spice and some earthy tones lingering in the background.  The palate is tart and slightly sweet with dried cherry, flower petals and light hints of earthy spices leading to a dry finish of floral dried flowers.

The fight is tough and admirable in the final round.  Even with these Luchadors going toe-to-toe the Gilbert Cellars scores enough points to take the match with the final round victory.

Wrap up and overall observation.

This might have been a bad bottle for the Michel Andreotti.  It started out with a nose that screamed out "Corked"  Ultimately it settled down and was much improved after being open for a day.

Meanwhile, the Gilbert Cellars was one of the better examples of Washington Pinot Noir that I have tasted.  Highly recommended, there is a limited quantity and you will need to contact the tasting room to purchase it.  You will be rewarded for the bit of extra effort to purchase this wine!

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