Tag Archive | Pinot Noir

German Monkey Wine

I was away at a quarterly business meeting for the last few days…  On the way home, I stopped by Cost Plus World Market to check things out.  I love a visit from time to time – candles, home decor, cute girly stuff, those awesome stuffed green olives.  And wine!  You know – necessities…

Unbeknownst to me, they had started their holiday wine sale!  What’s better than wine?  Wine on sale!!!  So I stocked up and bought a bunch of wines I haven’t tried before.

This one I bought purely based the the label.  Because well, it’s awesome.  I mean really, a gold embossed monkey wrapped around the bottle – when are you going to see that?!  Oh, and my friend told me I had to get it too.  That.

Without further ado, I bring you German Monkey Wine…

Affentaler Valley of the Monkey Pinot Noir

Otherwise known as Affentaler Valley of the Monkey Pinot Noir.  I will admit that when I first opened this wine, I was not impressed.  I was prepared to write it off as simply a cool bottle to turn into a holder for my tealight tree.  But after it had a chance to breathe for a bit, it got better.  It has flavors of dark cherry, earth and tobacco.

For $10.99 a bottle, it was a decent Pinot Noir.  At that price I would probably get it again…  If you do, remember to let it breathe for a little while…

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The Bet…

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
Harvest: 9/27/14
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…

 

2012 Dark Earth Pinot Noir

Tonight, I am enjoying a California Pinot Noir. The Dark Earth Pinot from Buellton.

Red cherry and earthy flavors mingle with medium tannins, to create a nice weekday wine. It packs a punch too at 14.8 percent alcohol.

Delicious! Highly recommended if you come across it. Happy Saturday everybody!

 

 

2011 Anam Cara Pinot Noir

The temperature here on the Washington coast is back up.  At 8 pm, it is still 81 degrees!  Plus I was foolish enough to spend the day loading a couple of pick up truck loads of branches and other yard debris, the latest results of our attempts to clean up our overgrown woodsy yard.

All that sweating calls for some Pinot Noir!  I opened the 2011 Anam Cara Pinot Noir – Nicholas Estate.  Anam Cara is a relative newcomer to the Willamette Valley wine world, after owners Nick and Sheila moved to Newberg, Oregon from Napa in 2001.  Anam Cara means “friend of my soul” in Celtic, and represents the friendships that transcend time and place, as well as the long journey the couple made in order to reach their winemaking dreams.

2011 Anam Cara Pinot Noir - Nicholas Estate

2011 Anam Cara Pinot Noir – Nicholas Estate

We met Sheila when we were down in the Willamette Valley in February, upon the recommendation of another server.  The tasting room is just off the main street, and warm and inviting.  The wine is fabulous.  In addition to Pinot, Anam Cara also makes Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Chardonnay.

The 2011 Nicholas Estate Pinot Noir is made from a blend of all five original blocks of their Nicholas Estate Vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains AVA.  It is aged in 21% new French oak, 8% once filled French oak, and the remainder neutral oak.

The wine is a beautiful garnet color, with aromas of spice and blackberry.  On the palate, it has wonderful flavors of strawberry, blackberry, and white pepper.  The light tannins have mellowed with age.  It is a great summer sipper, perfect for relaxing after a hot day’s work.

Have you had any of Anam Cara’s wines?  Cheers!

Anne Amie Vineyards 2011 Marilyn Brut Rosé

Tonight I decided to open a good bottle, in celebration of…  Well, maybe we should celebrate the cooler weather!

The Anne Amie Vineyards 2011 Marilyn Brut Rosé comes from the Twelve Oaks Estate vineyard located in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. The Marilyn sparkling wine contains 100% Pinot Noir.

Anne Amie Vineyards 2011 Marilyn Brut Rosé - with a background of petunias and asters.

Anne Amie Vineyards 2011 Marilyn Brut Rosé – with a background of petunias and asters.

The wine has aromas of raspberry and flint, and on the palate opens up to flavors of strawberry and tart lime.  Tiny, delicate bubbles add some additional interest.

Jon and I first had this wine when we were down in the Willamette Valley for Valentine’s Day at Bubbles Fest, a sparkling wine event sponsored by Anne Amie.  With 11 different Oregon sparkling wine producers, chocolate, hazelnuts and oysters, this festival did not disappoint.  And neither does this wine!

 

Walnut City Wineworks 2012 Rosé

I was looking for something more summery to drink and I pulled out a bottle that I had purchased a couple years back when my cousin was visiting.  We had gone down to Portland for a long weekend to visit my brother and his family and spend an afternoon wine tasting in the Willamette Valley.

Walnut City Wineworks is located in McMinnville, Oregon, in a re-purposed walnut processing plant (hence the name of the winery).  They share their space in a cooperative venture with Carlton Hill Vineyards, Bernard-Machado, Lundeen and Robinson Reserve.

The Walnut City Wineworks 2012 Rosé is made from 100% Pinot Noir.  It is a dark, pink salmon color, with a crisp, tart strawberry flavor.  This Rosé has aged beautifully, maintaining a lot of structure over the last couple of years.  It is certainly drinking well!

This wine certainly hit the spot for an evening spent with Jon and a friend, and was delicious over the next couple of days as well.

Have you tried any of the Walnut City Wineworks wines?  What did you think?

Foris Vineyards 2010 Pinot Noir

I came home yesterday after a long day at work to find a full glass of this – the Foris Vineyards 2010 Pinot Noir.  Jon had wanted a Pinot, and this one fit the bill.

Foris 2010 Pinot Noir

Jon and I visited Foris in August, and enjoyed the great wine and laid back atmosphere of the tasting room.

It is a deep strawberry red – a truly beautiful color.  On the nose, it is fairly mellow, with scents of ripe sweet cherries and sun-warmed blackberries.  On the palate – it was delicious.  It is a nice medium-bodied Pinot, with predominantly cherry flavors but enough earth and spice to make it really interesting.

It was aged in a combination of once-used and neutral oak French barrels, which really displays the fruit flavors.  It is lovely at 13% alcohol, but if you are like me and find that your husband poured a larger glass than you expected, and you didn’t eat much for dinner, you might find yourself a little tipsy!  Not that you would admit it, of course…

If you have tried this wine, I hope you will let me know what you thought!  Cheers – it’s almost the weekend!