Sunday, September 8, 2013

August 2, 2013 –Wines: Tres Pino(t)s

I have to admit that I enjoy comparing and contrasting wines.  In this case, I was comparing three Pinot Noir wines from different price levels.  Two were from the same vintage and remarkably different.  The third was a bit younger but shared a flavor profile and body with one of the older wines.  I am thankful that a long-time friend showed up unexpectedly and provided this opportunity to explore.

2007 J. Lohr Fog’s Reach Pinot Noir

I started out with leftovers from the day before of the J. Lohr Pinot Noir.  I had decanted most of the bottle and immediately corked up the remainder.  The next day, the wine retained most of its body and all of its flavor profile.  I remember tasting this wine when it was released and falling for its vintage-typical lush palette.  While the vintage-typical fruits (blueberry and blackberry supported by baking spices) remain in abundance, this wine is just too jammy to be considered a great Pinot Noir.  Still, it was delicious.

2007 Gary Farrell Russian River Selection Pinot Noir

This wine made it nearly impossible for any other wine to shine.  While the most expensive of the three, the quality and elegance that one expects from a fine Pinot Noir were abundant in this wine.  This wine featured flavors more typical of a Pinot Noir, with a nod towards the vintage’s expression, starting with black cherries, blackberries, baking spices, and slight minerals, all delivered in exquisite balance.  But the elegance and clarity were what won me over.

2010 Frei Brothers Russian River Pinot Noir

As the least expensive of the three wines, I had the lowest expectations for this wine.  As it turns out, it was nearly identical to the J. Lohr Pinot Noir (except for the blueberries).  The body, while three years younger than the J. Lohr, was almost equally as jammy, with delicious fruits featured above subtle baking spices.  My guess is that this wine won’t keep as long as the J. Lohr considering its young softness.  Still, it is drinking nicely today.

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