Perfectly Pinot Part One: Not Oregon

Hi Everyone!

I’ve been doing it again. Collecting Pinots like Pokémon, a case here, two cases there – before you know it I’ve got enough for 3 emails, yikes. It’s okay, though, the Holidays are perfect for Pinot: turkey, ham, meat pies, calming yourself down after parking lot confrontations (any booze works on that last one, truthfully), Pinot Noir is December’s spirit balm, racy but peaceful, low in predictability.

Let’s start today with some tasty Pinots from around the world, in the coming weeks I’ll have some brand new, exclusive Oregonians, but first:

Montalto Estate Pinot Noir 2016, Mornington Peninsula, Australia. From the wee cooler climate jetty south of Melbourne that stakes a credible claim to being the Best Southern Hemisphere Pinot Region (Patagonia would protest). We offered (and sold out of) the electric Estate Chardonnay a few weeks ago, this Pinot is equally on fire and I have even less of it. We’ll be trying it this Saturday in our River District Vintage Room at 3pm if you’re around. Spiced strawberries and white flowers surround the unexpectedly substantial core of fruit, body and game. Like a surfboard – long and firm but no rough edges – this drinks smoothly but I’d like to see how it develops: I’ve so little experience with Mornington Pinots I honestly don’t know what it turns into – the structure will take it somewhere - but it’s hella delicious now so no worries, mate. 97 points Decanter, 3 cases available, $53.49 +tax

Domaine Daniel Rion et Fils Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru “Aux Vignerondes” 2015, Burgundy, France. Daniel Rion is simply one of the best bang-for-buck Burgundian houses I can think of, and this killer Premier Cru NSG proves it. Those looking for immediate gratification should skip to the next blurb: this is the seed of a Pleasure Plant, a gift to Future You, but it drinks like a strange animal’s defense mechanism right now. Sweet cherry, mint (!) and cassis pervade the deceptively ripe nose, truly gorgeous and inviting, the palate is bold and bulletproof but super young and at least five years out from any kind of balance. After the window opens in 2024 or so this’ll be luxurious and rich – an amazing Burgundy, possibly as good as NSG gets, but until then picture 2 dozen squirrels throwing rocks at you, in a glass. 95 points Wine Spectator, 1 case available, $113.99 +tax

Kosta Browne Russian River Pinot Noir 2015, Sonoma, California. Former Wine Of The Year (Wine Spectator) and recent Duckhorn acquisition Kosta Browne has always walked the knife’s edge between richness and restraint, a balance exemplified in this stupidly tasty Russian River Pinot: all manner of berries bump against all manner of cherries – a fruit fest to be certain, but the body and finish bring the earth and the layers and the class. A medium weight with lively acidity, the landing is fresh and mouth watering, great length. Still available only through a mailing list (for which there is a long waiting list) in the US, it doesn’t get much cultier than this. Make your American wine-drinking buddies jealous!! 94 points James Suckling, 2 6-packs available, $195.49 +tax

Louis Jadot Chorey-Les-Beaunes “Les Beaumonts” 2013, Burgundy, France. How is it that I still have 2 boxes of this? Outrageously good Burgundy value from a house not necessarily known for it – Jadot is always excellent but usually priced at the middle of the curve, not culty but not cheap either. This recently acquired single vineyard (north of Beaune) that drinks like a Premier Cru (but isn’t one) is a force to behold – round chalky tannins, soft fruit (black cherry, mostly, with some currant), I know you’re wondering: is the drinking window open? Let me put it this way, remember how there was a tunnel painted on a mountain, and the Roadrunner could go through it but the Coyote couldn’t? Yeah. 2 6-packs available, $57.49 +tax

Until next time, Happy Drinking!