Red Burgundy VS Oregon Pinot Noir

Saturday, September 26, 2020 - 07:30 PM

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"It's a hard grape to grow. As you know. Right? It's, uh, it's thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It's, you know, it's not a survivor like cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and thrive even when it's neglected. No, pinot needs constant care and attention. You know? And, in fact, it can only grow in these really specific, little tucked-away corners of the world. And only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand pinot's potential can then coax it into its fullest expression."

Miles - Sideways

 

 

I remember my trip to Oregon in the summer of 1994 for the IPNC (International Pinot Noir Celebration) this is one of the best wine parties that I have ever attended. The festival is limited to 500 attendees as it is hosted by McMinnville College and that is all they can accommodate in their lecture facilities. I remember not only were the quality of the wines at the highest level but the people in attendance were some of the most passionate Pinot Noir lovers that I had ever come across. And although winemaking began in the 19th century in this state it is only recently that its potential has been recognized by the rest of the world.

It was in 1979 when serious wine producers started to look at the potential of this area as Eyrie Vineyards' 1975 South Block Pinot Noir placed in the top 10 of Burgundy-style wines at the Gault-Millau French Wine Olympiades, and was rated the top Pinot Noir. This send the news around the wine world and shortly after Robert Drouhin, head of Burgundy's legendary Maison Joseph Drouhin, was visiting America's west coast promoting the Drouhin Burgundies. The California wine industry was just starting to receive its first recognition back then, but there was little if anything going on in Oregon. Robert's first visit to the Northwest and its earliest vineyards left him with the impression that it quite possibly would be Oregon, not California, that would ultimately prove to be the best place to grow the great grape of Burgundy - Pinot noir.

Inspired by his trip to Oregon and the results of 1979 tasting that was held in Paris, where, for the first time, the best new Oregon Pinot noirs were tasted in competition with the finest Burgundies. Robert decided to hold his own blind tasting in 1980 at the Drouhin cellars in France, with several of the best Oregon Pinot noirs going up against the finest Drouhin Grand Crus. It was a Drouhin Grand Cru that took first place this time, but an Oregon wine (the now legendary 1975 Eyrie Vineyards South Block) placed 2nd by a very narrow margin with the French experts. News of this tasting brought the first widespread international attention to Oregon Pinot noir.

After a few years’ time Robert's daughter Véronique just graduated with an advanced degree in enology from the University of Dijon, and wanted to expand her experience by working in Oregon. Véronique interned with Adelsheim Vineyards, Bethel Heights, and Eyrie for the 1986 vintage. Later on, Robert mentioned to David Adelsheim that it might be interesting to buy a piece of land in Oregon, to see what it might produce. What started as a passing thought began its transformation into reality when Adelsheim phoned the Drouhins in Beaune not long thereafter to tell them of a property that was for sale that they might be interested in. The rest is history and with one of Burgundies foremost wine producing families moving to Oregon the writing was on the wall that this wine producing region would soon get its much deserved recognition as one of the world's premier Pinot Noir growing regions.

Today, the state of Oregon in the United States has established an international reputation for its production of wine. Oregon has several different growing regions within the state's borders which are well-suited to the cultivation of grapes; additional regions straddle the border between Oregon and the states of Washington and Idaho. Wine making dates back to pioneer times in the 1840s, with commercial production beginning in the 1960s.

Currently there are over 700 wineries in Oregon and a bustling tourism industry has developed around wine tasting. Much of the tourism focuses on the wineries and tasting rooms in and around the Yamhill Valley southwest of Portland.

 

Join us as we taste some of the top-level wines from Oregon next to some top level wines from Burgundy to see just how they stack up today.  The fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $195 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com

Cristom - St. AmandCote Nuits Saint-Georges 1er Cru Clos des Argillières Bouchard Père & Fils  1997 Rouge

Oregon Pinot Noir Vs Burgundy Wine Tasting
Saturday, September 26th
7:30pm

1994 Cristom Pinot Noir Marjorie Willamette Valley
1995 Bouchard Pere & Fils Nuits St Georges Les Argillieres 1er Cru
2002 Soter Pinot Noir Mineral Springs Willamette Valley
2002 Louis Jadot Clos Vougeot Grand Cru
2005 Andrew's Vat Pinot Noir Momtazi Vineyard Willamette Valley
2005 D'Angerville Volnay Clos des Ducs 1er Cru
2009 Cristom Pinot Noir Mount Jefferson Willamette Valley
2009 Domaine Francois Gaunoux Pommard Les Tavannes
2016 Soter Pinot Noir North Valley Reserve Willamette
2016 Vincent Girardin Morey Saint Denis Vielles Vignes

Menu
Selection of Cheese and Charcuterie
Salmon Tartar with roasted bell pepper, mango and lemon Aioli
BBQ Pork Belly served over Asian Kale & Napa Cabbage Kimchee Slaw/Hoisin Syrup
Coq au Vin made with Pinot Noir
Epoisses and Cherry tart

The fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $195 + Tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.  Please let us know when you make your reservation if you have dietary restrictions and chef Toni will be happy to accommodate you. 

 

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