The last couple of weeks have been difficult. Work stuff, which escalated to a whole new level. Personal stuff too, which I’ll get to in a different post. Meanwhile, during some of the worst days, someone important to me made a commitment, and I questioned whether it would be kept…
I was chatting with a dear friend and mentioned the commitment, and how I was skeptical that the promise would be kept. A bet was born. My friend was more hopeful than I was that the commitment would be kept. If the promise was honored, I lost the bet, and owed my friend a bottle of whisky. If the commitment were to be broken, then I won a bottle of wine (while still sadly losing). The specifications were either a French Champagne, or an Oregon Pinot Noir, chosen by my friend. My favorites!
I won the bet, while sadly still losing, because the commitment was broken. A few days later a bottle of St. Innocent 2014 Momtazi Vineyard Pinot Noir arrived. My friend chose the bottle based on the name of the winery, without knowing that this is a winery I have been wanting to try for years…
The Tasting Notes:
This is a complex wine that reflects the heat of the afternoon sun, the cool, windy evenings, and the rustic soils of the McMinnville hills while retaining the dark beauty of its intense, ripe fruit. It is aromatically complex with layers of blue and black fruit, Indian spices, coffee hints, and pepper. In the mouth the blue/black fruit flavors and eastern spice notes are layered with a “sauvage” sense of wildness. Texturally layered, its flavors vary in intensity and quality over your tongue and palate. Ample ripe tannins balance with its acidity.
The Technical Details:
Our Momtazi Vineyard grapes come from four blocks at the top of the vineyard on steep, exposed hillsides that become quite windblown. The de-stemmed grapes were fermented in small stainless steel and Burgundy oak fermenters. After gently pressing and settling the wine aged in French oak barrels, 28% which were new, for 16 months before bottling by gravity.
Crop Level: 2.4 tons/acre
Bottled: February 2016
I opened it last night, when the work stuff had settled a bit… I opened it while chatting with my friend – a virtual toast from thousands of miles away. This wine turned out to be everything a perfect Pinot Noir should be. Delicate cherry, with lots of smoky, earth tones. The light tannins balance out the acidity. It is very smooth, and at 13% ABV, it packs a subtle kick that creeps up on you just a little… I think it is my new favorite Pinot Noir.
The only disappointment? I didn’t get to share it with my friend.
Cheers. To dear friends and a clean slate…