Feb. 13, 2008 - Issue #643: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
The bright side of Noir2006 Ra Nui Wairau Valley
New Zealand is an ever-improving winemaking country. With its cool temperatures and great sun, it’s ideal for wines like Reisling, Chardonnay and Pinor Noir. I had this fact in mind when I decided to try one of the country’s more recent bottlings.
This Pinot emits light strawberry hues and a rich fruity nose with some spicy notes that, while nice, was a little overwhelming. The body of the wine was very warm and had even flavours throughout most of the taste. As it reached the back of the palate, the roundness of the wine and its flavours quickly disappeared. Hints of cherries could be detected that were nice but not overpowering. Loads of fruit at the front of the palate.
A nice wine for an affordable price.
Sea Smoke Southing
Wow! My wife and I were having some friends over for dinner, and since we had just returned from our trip to California, I thought it’d be fitting to serve some wine from that state. However, the wine we had brought back was nowhere near ready to drink.
Luckily, on a trip to my local wine store a few months back I had noticed Sea Smoke Pinots on the shelf. In awe, I bought several bottles of the Southing and the Ten and put them in my cellar—where they’ve been sitting for the last six months or so. I decided that this was the night I was going to serve one—and I mean one—of these bottles: I’d never had it before, but I’d heard so many accolades I wanted to make sure I’d have plenty left over for myself if it lived up to its reputation.
I opened it and tossed it into a decanter for the greater part of an hour. I sampled a little before I did and it was very nice but a bit tight, so in the vessel it went. An hour and a half later, when our guests arrived, I poured us each a glass. Again, wow. This deeply red wine emitted wonderfully rich and fruity odours. Not known for my nose, I still made out hints of blueberries and a touch of earth. The flavours were fat and powerful without being excessive. A small sip of this wine seemed to fill my mouth. The spicy wild berry flavours seemed to continue for minutes. The wine seemed to coat the tongue and linger as the flavours and tannins slowly dissolved.
This was arguably the best Pinot I have ever tasted. I cannot wait to try the Ten, which is apparently as good or better. The race to the wine shop is on—for you to buy some and for me to see if there is any left. V
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