Fir Crest “Second Floor” Pinot Noir (2011)

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20141106_194339[1]Fir Crest “Second Floor” Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir

YEAR: 2011

REGION: US: Oregon: Willamette Valley

AVERAGE RETAIL: $15

What they say about it:

“Bright red fruits and floral notes on the nose, nicely concentrated berry flavors in the mouth, and a juicy, raspberry-tinged finish that trails on and on. Lovely now with grilled salmon or a simple roast chicken.”

What I say about it:

The “Second Floor” Pinot Noir is actually produced by the folks at Oregon’s Twelve Winery under a different label. I stumbled on it at my corner market and decided to give it a try. Always on the lookout for decent Pinot Noirs from Oregon in the $10-$20 range it was a good wine for tasting.

So out of the bottle and into the glass….

The color of the wine is a light purplish red with medium legs in the glass (13.9% alcohol). The nose of the wine is full of red fresh fruits: strawberries and cherries, with a touch of oak, violet, crushed stone, slight spice, tobacco, moss and we earth. The taste again is full of berries and fruit. Less so berries for me. Closer to tart pie cherries with a touch of oak, pepper and smoke. It has a soft lingering finish with soft tannins. A touch acidic and not as well balanced as I’d like to see in a Pinot but still enjoyable.

For me Pinot’s need to be great and not just good. This was just a good Pinot. I wanted a little more complexity and better mouth feel. The Second Floor is drinkable and I’d recommended it if you are looking for a new Pinot to try from Oregon. It will pair well with softer robust cheeses and everything from red meat to turkey to even chicken.

Would Bukowski drink it?  Pinot? Pee yes. 

Overall Rating: 3 BUKS

3-BUKS

Christopher Michael “Pinot Noir” (2012)

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20131211_233245Christopher Michael “Pinot Noir”

Pinot Noir

YEAR: 2012

REGION: US: Oregon: Willamette Valley

AVERAGE RETAIL: $8-10

What they say about it:

“Blackberries and cherries burst onto the scene and gently taper off into rich chocolate and toasty flavors with subtle hints of black licorice. The wine has lively tannins and a rich and balanced finish. It is open and ready to drink.”

What I say about it:

Spotted another new under $10 Pinot Noir from Oregon and had to give it a try. Not at all familiar with the maker but producers from the Willamette Valley in Oregon produce some of the best wine in the Pacific Northwest, if not the country, especially Pinot Noir. 

Out of the bottle and into the glass, the Christoper Michael Pinot Noir was subtle yet nice plum color with initial notes of cherries, berries, currants and plums. Initial tasting notes was also berries, with a quick tartness (pucker) with some licorice and slight sour cherry. Soft tannins with a slightly chalky, mineral feel. Finish was balanced but a little short.

At best this was an average, drinkable Pinot Noir. I wasn’t impressed but I didn’t empty it into the sink. For an under $10 Pinot Noir from Willamette, I think it’s fine but it’s not “fine wine”. Yes if spoken aloud I would have used air quotes.

Like most Pinot Noir wines this will pair well with red meats or poultry, particularly Turkey. For cheese pairings I would suggest medium to sharp Cheddar, goat cheese / Chevre and softer cheeses.

Would Bukowski drink it?  What the hell are air quotes? Haven’t we learned I’ll drink anything. 

Overall Rating: 2 BUKS

2-BUKS

Hahn Winery Pinot Noir (2012)

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Hahn Pinot Noir 2012Hahn Winery Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir 

YEAR: 2013

REGION: US: California

AVERAGE RETAIL: $14-16

What they say about it:

“Dark purple in the glass, this Pinot Noir shows aromas of dried plums, black currants and cola. On the palate, black cherry flavors and a silky mouthfeel build on fresh acidity and well integrated oak flavors of vanilla and spice.”

What I say about it:

I was introduced to Hahn Winery about a year ago. The have a number of brands in their line and you can check them out online: http://www.hahnestates.com. I’ve become a big fan. Their wines are really excellent and a value in the price range. This is my first try for the 2012 Pinot Noir and it didn’t disappoint.

Very deep in color with the usual characteristics of a Pinot. The nose was a little musky out of the bottle but that lessened after it breathed. My first impression was tart yet sweet fruits, plums, raspberries and pie cherries, but also a distinct candied orange rind flavor on the finish. Other notes included a subtle earthiness, a slight vanilla spice with a touch of woodiness. It’s medium bodied, very smooth and easy to drink so the Hahn Pinot Noir goes excellent with food. For this tasting it accompanied a grilled flank steak and greens and went very well with the lime vinargrette dressing as the wine has nice acidity itself.

The Hahn Pinot Noir is another wine that I’d recommend for your Thanksgiving dinner as  Pinot Noir works well with turkey as well as the usual sides.

Would Bukowski drink it?  Hot Dog!

Overall Rating: 4 BUKS

4-BUKS

Storyteller “Into the Fog” Pinot Noir (2012)

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20131117_185946Storyteller “Into the Fog” 

Pinot Noir

YEAR: 2012

REGION: US: CA, Napa Valley; Los Carneros

ALCOHOL BY VOLUME: 13.5%

 What they say about it:

Dark ruby black color. Aromas of clay, cocoa, and craisin with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a long, elegant dried cherry, vanilla, and delicate spice nuanced finish. Very stylish and tasty. 

What I say about it:

My initial reaction was spicy and fruity at the same time. It had nice pop with a medium finish and a really nice mouth feel.

Would Bukowski drink it?    Hell Yes.

Overall Rating: 4 BUKS

4-BUKS