Horizontal Tasting 2009 B.C. Pinot Noirs Vs. Willamette #26
Pinot Noirs from Creston, Vancouver Island, Oliver and a “guest pinot” from the Willamette Valley
Licorice, caramel, red fruits, pepper tingle with balanced acidity – EU
Low tannins and sufficient acidity to knit it all altogether – BG
Toasted oak vanilla, cranberries, huckleberry – AKG
|Name of Wine||Price||Quality||Value|
|#1 Domaine Rochette Pinot Noir 2009||$16.00||B- to B ~ 91||B+ ~ 94|
|#2 Skimmerhorn Pinot Noir 2009||$20.00||C+ to B- ~ 89||B ~ 92|
|#3 D'Angelo Pinot Noir 2009||$18.00||B- ~ 90||B to B+ ~ 93|
|#4 Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series Pinot Noir 2009||$30.00||B to B+ ~ 93||B- to B ~ 91|
|#5 Blue Grouse Pinot Noir 2009||$23.00||C- to C ~ 85||C- to C ~ 85|
|#6 Zanatta Pinot Nero 2009||$20.00||B- ~ 90||B+ ~ 94|
|#7 Helioterra Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2009||$24.00||C ~ 86||C ~ 86|
|#8 Church and State Island Estate Reserve Pinot Noir 2009||$20.00||B- to B ~ 91||B to B+ ~ 93|
#1 Domaine Rochette A Midsummer Night Pinot Noir 2009 10.8%
Quality Rating: B- to B ~ 91 Value Rating: B+ ~ 94
BG: Very pale, Garnet. AKG: Garnet, glossy, translucent. EU: Bright ruby/garnet.
BG: Stewed strawberry, cranberry, savoury red fruit. Lovely. AKG: Strawberries, lemon, smokiness, pine. EU: Strawberry, Kirsch cherry, jasmine, plum jam.
BG: Body medium minus. Savoury strawberry, cranberry, pomegranate. Very old world. Intensity medium minus. AKG: Barbecued strawberries, intensity changes in the flavour sequence. Earthy, mushrooms, longish finish smooth. EU: Bright acidity, ripe sour cherries, vanilla end finish. Distinct tannins with long finish, simple plums, easy but interesting.
Winemaker – Paul Troop
From the Saanich peninsula on Vancouver Island 100% estate grown. Wine production originally began in order to create wine jelly for a gourmet food business. The first vintage was in 2006. Production is approximately 100 cases. Closure – cork
Domaine Rochette Pinot Noir – Current Vintage & Availability
#2 Skimmerhorn Pinot Noir 2009 14.5%
Quality Rating: C+ to B- ~ 89 Value Rating: B ~ 92
BG: Pale, mostly garnet. AKG: Cherry, some sediment, pinkish tones. EU: Dark garnet.
BG: Fresh cherry, bit of tobacco, light herbal, aromatic bark. Some noticeable alcohol, some fresh herb – mint? AKG: Candy apple, pomegranate, cherry, leather. EU: Light tar, exotic spice, roast plum, strawberries, currents, floral.
BG: Wood tannins, tobacco, fruit partly dried out,. Wood seems to have outlasted the fruit. Longer aftertaste, but mostly barrel marked end flavour. AKG: Charcoal, mushroom, dark cherry, savoury fruits, spicy/peppery EU: Oily meat, ripe red fruits, pomegranate, molasses, ripe full body, balanced tannins/acidity, long finish. Ready to drink.
Skimmerhorn is in the Creston valley, one of B.C.’s emerging wine regions, about six hours East of Vancouver and close to the U.S. border. The pinot noir is all from estate fruit. The New Zealander Mark Rattray conducts an annual antipodal migration and makes Skimmerhorn’s wines in his Northern season. Closure – Stelvin screwtop
Skimmerhorn Winery & Vineyard Pinot Noir – Current Vintage & Availability
#3 D’Angelo Pinot Noir 2009 14.7%
Quality Rating: B- ~ 90 Value Rating: B to B+ ~ 93
BG: Pale, garnet shading to brown. AKG: Bricky, almost brownish, clearing glossy to. EU: Dark garnet.
BG: Cherry wood, chestnut wood, oloroso sherry, slightly sour, some cherry. Floral and roses, smells a bit like an older Brunello. High acid, some noticeable alcohol. Intense Woody savoury fruit. AKG: Sherry, plum, toasted nuts. EU: Light tar, dried cherry, plum, spice, dark caramel, roses.
BG: As on the nose, high acid, roses, tastes a bit like Northern California pinot though fruit not bright enough. Excellent balance, long, interesting wine but seems a long way from Pacific Northwest pinot. Body medium. Intensity medium minus. AKG: Ripe tannins, sour fruits, nice balance, medicinal/herbal, anise. EU: Anise, licorice, caramel, red fruits, pepper tingle with balanced acidity not woody. Savoury rich like Barolo drink now. Needs meat.
The grapes were harvested October 19. 262 cases produced. The wine was aged in French oak for 19 months. The proprietor and winemaker Sal D’Angelo has two wineries, his Naramata property in B.C. and another one with the same name in Ontario. Closure – cork
D’Angelo Estate Winery Pinot Noir – Current Vintage & Availability
#4 Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series Pinot Noir 2009 14.7%
Quality Rating: B to B+ ~ 93 Value Rating: B- to B ~ 91
BG: Pale, cherry rim. AKG: Cherry – Garnet, clear and glossy. EU: Dark garnet.
BG: Very light, light spoiled fruit juice, little bit candied, simple, cherry. AKG: Swimming pool, cough drops, strawberries, cherries, huckleberries, vanilla. EU: Watermelon, strawberry, herbal (lemon balm or lemon thyme), anise, sweet flowers.
BG: Great balance, flavours go straight to mid-palate. Little bit of alcohol heat, quite forward with a good backbone of acidity, not especially complex. Excellent balance of wood and dried fruit, roses, some licorice. AKG: Big acidity, nice balance, tempered oak, strawberry, savoury fruit, vanilla. EU: Anise, dried cherry, caramelized fruits, strawberry jam, long finish of strawberry. Well-balanced acids and tannins and very pleasant
Tinhorn Creek have been making pinot noir in the Golden Mile for a long time. The inaugural pinot noir vintage was 1994. They own approximately one hundred and fifty acres on both sides of the Okanagan Valley just South of Oliver and make two pinot noirs, an entry level estate bottling and their premium Oldfield Series wine, produced from twenty plus year old vines.
Winemaker: Sandra Oldfield
Picked September 29th 2009 at 24.4 Brix and released July 1, 2013
Aged one year in 3-5 year American and French oak and then three years in bottle. The wine was produced from eighteen year old vines. Tinhorn Creek is in the new Golden Mile sub-appellation in the Okanagan Valley and the Oldfield Series represents the top wines of each vintage at Tinhorn Creek. Closure – Stelvin screwtop
Tinhorn Creek Pinot Noir – Current Vintage & Availability
#5 Blue Grouse Pinot Noir 2009 14.2%
Quality Rating: C- to C ~ 85 Value Rating: C- to C ~ 85
BG: Pale, Ruby/Garnet rim. AKG: Cherry – pink, glossy and rich looking. EU: Dark Ruby.
BG: Chocolate cherries, roses! Creosote, pomegranate molasses, cherry wood. AKG: Rich – cocoa butter! Ripe fruits, mineral notes, chocolate cake, maraschino cherry, strawberry jam, Woody. EU: Dark toast, wood, tar, grassy compost, wood, pepper, vanilla cherries in background.
BG: Roses, tar, some tannic grip. Cherry wood finish. Hard to find fruit and tannin is slightly puckering, bit of an alcohol burn, acidity high,. Body medium minus intensity medium minus. AKG: Chocolate strawberries, long finish,. Goes into mineral water touch in finish, raspberry, woody, very tannic. EU: Light red fruits, oak, long strong dry tannins and accompanying acidity. Wood dominates.
253 cases produced from all estate grapes in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. The wine spent two years in older French oak barrels. Closure – cork
Gold medal at the 2014 All Canadian Wine Championships
Blue Grouse Pinot Noir – Current Vintage & Availability
#6 Zanatta Pinot Nero 2009 12.0%
Quality Rating: B- ~ 90 Value Rating: B+ ~ 94
BG: Garnet rim, pale. AKG: Cherry/pink, glossy. EU: Bright Ruby.
BG: Cranberry, pomegranate, cherry, strawberry, intensity medium minus. Fruit intensity on the nose seems to funnel straight onto the tongue. Fruit predominant, good acidity. AKG: Orange blossom, strawberry shortcake, thimbleberry. EU: Complex cherry, Kirsch, dark toast, oak, spicy with cardamom, pepper and sweet spice. Floral strawberries, sweet, red, dark berries.
BG: Roses, vanilla, strawberries, intensity medium minus. Good balance, intensity maintains throughout the flavour sequence. Some baking spices, tannins of, acidity medium minus but definitely in balance. AKG: Strawberries, lemon, vanilla, baking spices. Nice balance. EU: Fresh strawberries, minutes, watermelon, lime. Distinct tannins help apparently low acidity. Well-balanced and complex.
The Zanatta winery was the first winery to open (1992) in the most recent winemaking era on Vancouver Island. The wines are made from 100% estate grapes and aged in old and new French barrels. Closure – Composite cork
Zanatta Pinot Noir – Current Vintage & Availability
#7 Helioterra Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2009 14.1%
Quality Rating: C ~ 86 Value Rating: C ~ 86
BG: Garnet rim, pale. AKG: Garnet, clear, glossy. EU: Dark garnet.
BG: Alcohol, roses, tar, Sherry, faulted? AKG: Sherry, smoke, barnyard, cherry. EU: Compost, roast strawberry, Morello cherry, black cherry, toasted grain.
BG: Low acidity, tar, roses, tannins fairly soft but still dominate. A lot of barrel effects, some pleasant some less so, alcohol medium plus, medium plus finish. AKG: Blackberry, licorice, almost salty, savoury fruits, very intense flavour. A bit hot, but interesting notes on the finish with licorice, caramel and a little bit of woodiness. EU: Dark Porty cherries, caramel, strawberries that are dominant with the tannins.
The winemaker is Anne Hubatch and this is the inaugural release of this pinot noir. 248 cases were produced. Closure – cork
#8 Church and State Island 2009 13.8%
Quality Rating: B- to B ~ 91 Value Rating: B to B+ ~ 93
BG: Ruby/garnet, pale. AKG: Garnet with pink and brownish rim. EU: Cherries brown edges.
BG: Pomegranate with some good intensity, fresh cherry, citrus flower. AKG: Sweet onions, toasted nut, pine notes? Rainier cherries. EU: Earthy composty, animal, oily, varnish.
BG: Floral, cranberry/pomegranate, very soft, good acidity. Good complexity, very soft tannins. Fruit driven with some good focused fruit. Alcohol is medium, body medium minus, medium minus intensity. Good balance with low tannins and sufficient acidity to knit it all altogether. AKG: Great mouthful, long lemon finish, light touch of toasted oak vanilla, cranberries, huckleberry, maybe a little bit of sourness. EU: Vanilla cherry, strawberry, cherry, distinct dry tannins with vanilla strawberry finish. Light meaty (white meat chicken or pork).
All estate fruit from the Brentwood Bay Estate on Vancouver Island. 518 cases produced. Harvested October 28, 2009. Closure – Stelvin
Church & State Pinot Noir – Current Vintage & Availability
Tasting held May 5, 2015