Tasting No. 184 – January 30, 2017 – Pinot Noir from the Old and New Worlds


 Club del Vino


Capri Ristorante, McLean VA


1. Presenters and Participants

Wines presenters: Ruth Connolly, Ginger Smart


MembersMarcello Averburg, Ruth Connolly, Clarita Estrada, Jaime Estupiñán, Jorge Garcia-Garcia, Peter Lapera, Orlando Mason, John Redwood, Lucía Redwood, Jorge Requena, Alfonso Sánchez, Xavi Vila, German Zincke.


Type of Tasting: Open

2. The Wines  

The  main objective of this tasting is to distinguish the differences between the Old and New World Pinot Noir wines.

  1. 2014 Errazuriz, Chardonnay  Wild Ferment, Casablanca Valley 
  2. 2015 Domaine Joblot Givry 1er Cru, Clos Marole
  3. 2015 Quentin Jeannette Maranges, Vieilles Vignes
  4. 2013  Shane, The Charm Pinot Noir,  Russian River Valley

3. The Menu

  1. Lobster bisque
  2. Raviolis stuffed with mushrooms and a brown sauce
  3. Salmon salad with spinach and pine nuts
  4. Beef with red wine sauce
  5. Dessert/Coffe

4. Information on the Wines

(The information below has been compiled from varios internet sources) .

2014 Errazuriz Chardonnay Wild Ferment, Casablanca Valley 

errazuriz-wild-ferment-chardonnay-casablanca-valley-chile-10545272The Wine: A top name in Chile, Errazuriz owns vineyards in Aconcagua, Casablanca and Curico. Natural yeasts are used here, with 10% French oak for fermentation, resulting in a balanced wine full of bright citrus fruit, a subtle sweet oak nose, a creamy texture and brisk acidity.

Wild Ferment wines are fermented using the wild yeast present on the grapes and in the air contributing with more distinctive flavours, richer mouth-feel and greater complexity to the wine.

Winemaking: Hand picked grapes were rigorously sorted, selected and fermented at low temperatures to retain acidity. Wild yeasts added layers of complexity, richness and texture to the wine. Ten months ageing in French oak barrels “sur-lie” gave even more complexity and creaminess.
Character: Rich, mouth filling and creamy with rich ripe fruit characters, toasty spice balanced by crisp acidity and a long finish.

This wine comes from la Escultura Estate in the Casablanca Valley, where the abundant sunshine and cool Pacific breezes create a long, growing season, creating superb ripeness and balance.

The Winery:  Casablanca Valley is a wine-growing region of Chile, located 60 miles (100km) north-west of the country’s capital, Santiago. The east-west-oriented valley is roughly 19 miles (30km) long, stretching to the eastern border of the Valparaiso province. It is best known for its crisp white wines, most notably Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, which have gained it recognition as one of Chile’s quality wine regions. Pinot Noir, which is responsive to the cooler climates found in this coastal area, is also grown with some success.

Given the valley’s location at 33°S (much closer to the Equator than any European vineyard), viticulture here is possible largely because of the oceanic influence, which brings cool morning fog and greater cloud cover than is found elsewhere in the north of Chile. It is this cooler climate that makes Casablanca’s white wines stand out from their local rivals. With a longer ripening period, the white grapes have more time to develop greater flavor complexity, while maintaining sugars and acids in balance.

Read more at: http://www.wine-searcher.com/regions-casablanca+valley

 2015 Domaine Joblot Givry 1er Cru, Clos Marole

domaine-joblot-clos-marole-givry-premier-cru-france-10651824The Wine.  The Givry Clos Marole red from Domaine Joblot is a Premier Cru from Pinot Noir (100%).  Deep ruby color with aromas of red and black fruit (blackcurrant, morello cherry). In the mouth, the juice is full-bodied, coated with fine tannins but with fleshy character to be refined over the years. It is a wine with fine tannins,  A worthy representative of the wines of the appellation.

The Winery:  Clos Marole is an official Premier Cru vineyard of the Givry appellation in the Cote Chalonnaise sub-region of Burgundy. It is one of about 30 vineyards granted this status and allowed to append their name to that of the Givry appellation on wine labels.

Givry itself is one of the five communal titles of the Chalonnaise, producing predominantly red wines from the Pinot Noir grape variety. The appellation’s relatively rare white wines are made from Chardonnay and account for around 10% of the total output. Givry was once the epicenter of Chalonnaise wine production and its fame stretches back to the 16th century when it was King Henri IV’s preferred source of wine.

The Givry Premier Cru vineyards are regarded as having the finest terroir of the area and thus produce the most highly regarded of the appellation’s wines. They are planted on sandstone- and limestone-rich soils, the best of which lie on the south-facing slopes immediately west of Givry village. The sites here vary in altitude from about 500ft to 1000ft (150–300m), with the higher vineyards sharing their land with quarries that dot the hillsides – clearly demonstrating the soil structure below the vines.

Read more at: http://www.wine-searcher.com/regions-givry+clos+marole

 2015 Quentin Jeannette Maranges, Vieilles Vignes    

domaine-matrot-maranges-vieilles-vignes-cote-de-beaune-france-10558710The Wine:  Light ruby, red berries aromas and flavors, a bit of spiciness, short final not too complex.

The Winery: Maranges is the southernmost wine-producing commune of the Cote de Beaune in Burgundy, taking its name from the three villages within its catchment area: Cheilly-les-Maranges, Dezize-les-Maranges and Sampigny-les-Maranges. The Maranges appellation produces medium-bodied red wines from Pinot Noir, which are best consumed within a few years of vintage. White wines made from Chardonnay are permitted under the appellation laws, but are produced only in very small quantities.

Read more at: http://www.wine-searcher.com/regions-maranges

 2013 Shane, The Charm, Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 

shane-wine-cellars-the-charm-pinot-noir-russian-river-valley-usa-10783918The Wine: Shane’s notes: The Charm has a deep garnet color. The aromatics are highlighted by a mélange of red fruits and baking spices. Elements of rose petals, Rainer cherries, allspice and ripe strawberries accentuate the aromatics. The plush mid-palate exhibits tones of raspberries, cardamom, and red apple skin. Focused acidity and refined tannins shape the finish filled with pluot, cinnamon, and cola.

The Winery: Russian River Valley, one of the United States’ top-ranked wine regions, is located at the heart of Sonoma County, California. One of California’s coolest and foggiest AVAs (particularly in its southern and western portions), the valley has a cool growing season and a long, slow, ripening period which promotes complexity and balance in the wines. As a result, Russian River Valley wines are widely respected, particularly those made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The 2013 Charm is sourced primarily from the Floodgate Vineyard as well as the Graham Vineyard. Both vineyards embody the classic spirit of the Russian River Valley and its Goldridge soils. The vineyards produce wines of supple texture and a bright red fruit profile.

Read more at: https://www.shanewines.com/vineyards/index.html and http://www.wine-searcher.com/regions-russian+river+valley

4.  CV members Rating

Rating Scale:

      • 96-100 Pts. – Exceptional
      • 90-95 Pts.  –  Outstanding
      • 86-89 Pts.  –  Very good
      • 81-85 Pts.  –  Good
      • 76-80 Pts.  –  Acceptable
      • 75 or fewer – Mediocre

Participants ranking, average scores and wine prices:

2014 Errazuriz, Chardonnay  Wild Ferment, Casablanca Valley                                             Members Score:  91 Pts.                                                                                                                  Experts Score :    93 Pts. James Suckling                                                                                       $18

Selected comments: Fruit and acid in balance, tasty, balanced, excellent, finish medium.

2015 Domaine Joblot Givry 1er Cru, Clos Marole                                                                  Members Score:   91 Pts.                                                                                                                  Experts Score :     90 Pts.                                                                                                                   $40

Selected comments: Good match with salmon. balance, mild tannins, long and complex finish, complex but a bit acidic, the most refined of all, dark color and balance.

2013  Shane, The Charm Pinot Noir,  Russian River Valley                                                   Members Score: 90 Pts.                                                                                                                  Experts Score :    91 Pts. WE                                                                                                            $42

Selected Comments: Deep long finish, a bit too fruity, intense, perfect texture, feels like a Cab, the best buy, acidic and fruity, deep and very complex, great finish.

2015 Quentin Jeannette Maranges, Vieilles Vignes                                                                        Members Score:   86 Pts.                                                                                                                  Experts Score :     NA Pts.                                                                                                                 $30

Selected Comments:  Earthy flavors, oil like odor, weird odor and taste. too light and acidic, weak, short and unbalanced finish, watery, just average

Best value for Money: 2014 Errazuriz, Chardonnay  Wild Ferment, Casablanca Valley

See full evaluation here: 184-summary-of-tasting-scores

5. Technical Notes 

Pinot Noir Wine (By Jairo Sánchez)

Taken from Wine Searcher and Wine Folly

Pinot Noir is the red wine grape of Burgundy, now adopted in wine regions all over the world. The variety charm has carried it to all manner of vineyards, from western Germany and northern Italy to Chile, South Africa, Australia and, notably, California, Oregon and New Zealand. It is the patriarch of the Pinot family of grape varieties – so called because their bunches are similar in shape to a pine cone. Other members of this family include Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Meunier, Aligote and Pinot Noir’s white-wine counterpart, Chardonnay.

Pinot Noir causes more discussion and dispute than any other grape, most of which centers around finding and describing the variety’s “true” expression. Examples from Santenay are undeniably different from those made on the other side of the world in Central Otago, and yet they are all unmistakably, unquestionably Pinot Noir. It takes a great deal of care and skill to make Pinot perform, and the results vary wildly from watery, acidic candy water to some of the richest, most intensely perfumed wines on Earth. This elusive perfection has earned the variety obsessive adoration from wine lovers all over the world.In Burgundy, the traditional vigneron focuses more on soil and climate than on the qualities of the grape variety itself. Even very subtle differences in terroir are reflected in Pinot Noir wines made there.

Although many winemakers in the New World attempt to emulate the Burgundy style, the newer Pinot regions in Oregon, Washington, California and New Zealand have their own individual expressions and interpretations of the variety.

The essence of Pinot Noir wine is its aroma of strawberry and cherry (fresh red cherries in lighter wines and stewed black cherries in weightier examples), underpinned in the most complex examples by hints of undergrowth. Well-built Pinot Noirs, particularly from warmer harvests, also exhibit notes of leather and violets.

The question of oak in Pinot Noir winemaking is frequently raised, as are the length of fermentation and the option of a pre-ferment maceration (cold soak). Cooler temperatures lead to fresher fruit flavors, while longer, warmer fermentations and pigeage (French term for ‘punching down’ – the process of breaking up and plunging down the thick cap of grape solids which forms during fermentation) result in more extracted wines with greater tannic structure.

Although Pinot Noir earns most of its fame from its still, red, varietal wines, the variety is also a vital ingredient in the production of sparkling white wines. For these, it can be used alone, but is most commonly blended with its cousin Chardonnay, and other members of the Pinot family – mainly Pinot Meunier in Champagne and Pinot Blanc in Franciacorta. The highly successful Pinot – Chardonnay sparkling wine blend has been adopted by regions all around the world, in Europe, the Americas, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. 

Synonyms include: Pinot Nero, Pinot Negro, Spatburgunder, Blauburgunder.  

Dominant Flavors: Cranberry Cherry, Raspbery, Clove, Mushroom 

Where it grows:

France                       57%

USA                            27%

New Zealand              4%

Germany                  2.6%

Italy                           2.4 %

Australia                    2.2%

Chile                            1.5%

Rest of the world      3.5% 

Pinot Noir Wine Taste Regional Differences 

Raspberry and Clove                   Cranberry and Mushroom

California                                              France

Central Otago NZ                                Germany

South Australia                                    Italy

Chile                                                     Oregon




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