For wine blogging Wednesday this month our host is Remy Charest of the blog Wine Case. Remy asks us to pit North against South in a battle of terroir and and to see, if any differences lattitude plays on varietal expression. I chose the fickle, thin skinned Pinot Noir grape for this experiment, and needless to say Mr. PN was nervous. Although this may be a predictable battle royal, I chose a Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley in Oregon and one from the island of Tasmania. The reason I say that this may be a predictable battle is that not only is the Pinot Noir fickle, with an estimated 1000 clones and a tendency to suck up the terrior with a slurpee size straw, you would probably see differences if I planted PN on either side of my back yard. All that aside, let the battle begin.
<In my boxing announcer voice> In this corner, all the way from Tasmania, coming in at 13.1% ABV comprised of 100% Pinot Noir is the 2007 42 Degrees South Pinot Noir. ($20)
42 Degrees “training” regimen – 48-hour pre-ferment soak. Inoculated ferment in 1/2 and 1 tonne open fermenters, hand plunged 3-times daily. Pressed off skins into stainless steel tanks at 2-3 °Bé for completion of primary fermentation. Transfer into oak for inoculated MLF before racking off lees and further barrel maturation.
Oak: 10 months in 20% new and 80% seasoned French oak barriques.
My Tasting Notes –
Nose – black currant, plum, black cherry, clove
Taste – black cherry, Smuckers rapsberry jam, cooked green bean
Mouthfeel – medium to full body, velvety full tannins and moderate acidity
Finish – decent length, fruity and lean
<In my boxing announcer voice> …and in this corner all the way from the Willamette Valley (Yamhill-Carlton AVA) in Oregon, coming in at 14.1% ABV comprised of 100% Pinot Noir is the 2006 Et Fille “Kalita” Pinot Noir. ($43)
Et Fille “training” program – the vineyard is situated on Willakenzie soil at an altitude that varies between 400 and 800. Half of our blocks run to the top of the vineyard. The clones of the grapes harvested for us are exclusively pommard and a small amount of wadensvil.
Oak: 10 months, 50% new
My Tasting Notes –
Nose – earth, cedar and smoke and boysenberry
Taste – spicy vanilla, leather and cherry
Mouthfeel – elegant and soft, supple tannins and nice acidity
Finish – long and clean with light red fruit flavors lingering with a tinge of earthiness
I think these two were great contenders and both are great in their own respect. Besides the fact that they come in at different price points, they offer the dramatic differences that the Pinot Noir grape has to offer. While the 42 Degrees was more dark fruit and full bodied, the Et Fille was lean and elegant with more red fruit and earth driven components.
Thanks to Remy for this interesting idea for Wine Blogging Wednesday, it was a blast.