Pinot Noir is a red wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. The name is derived from the French words for pine and black. The pine alluding to the grape variety having tightly clustered, pine cone-shaped bunches of fruit.
Pinot Noir grapes are grown around the world, mostly in the cooler climates, and the grape is chiefly associated with the Burgundy region of France. Pinot Noir is used to make the Italian wine Franciacorta. Other regions include: the Willamette Valley of Oregon, California, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Pinot Noir is the primary varietal used in sparkling wine production in Champagne and other wine regions.
In this section we taste through the Presqu’ile 2012 Pinot Noir made by Presqu’ile Winemaker Dieter Cronje as well at 2 Pinots from Luceant Luminesce a 2011 and a 2012.
The Presqu’ile 2012 Pinot Noir was done with whole clusters and spent 18 months in neutral oak. It was fascinating to do a side by side with Kevin Law’s 2011 and 2012 Luceant Luminesce Pinot Noirs. Again all the grapes are from Presqu’ile Vineyard. 2011 was a cooler year and Kevin used 1/3 whole cluster and 25% new oak for this vintage, as opposed to the 2012 which was bigger. The 2012 vintage he went 75% whole cluster and 50% new oak. It’s amazing to see the difference a vintage can make as well as the differences created by the amount of whole cluster press and oak which can impart tannins and other flavors.
Kevin was the lone American on the panel. He jokes when the get to him “I don’t have an accent”. His wines have previously been produced under the Luminesce label but they have had to relinquish that name. In the interim you will see them often listed as Luceant Luminesce as they segue into their new name Luceant. Before opening his label, he spent 7 years as the assistant winemaker at Tantara. He is soft spoken and you won’t find him out on social media. This humble winemaker spends all his time pushing to make greater wines. The differences in his two Pinots were many, but they were both beautiful expressions of their vintage and style.
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Brie, Camembert, Feta, Gruyere, Monterey Jack, Muenster, Port Salut, Swis
try serving at cellar temp 55 to 60 Degree’s
warming it slightly will release more aromas
some may need to decant
fruitier versions make a great match with salmon or other fatty fish, roasted chicken or pasta dishes; bigger,
more tannic Pinots are ideal with duck and other game birds, casseroles, stews like beef bourguignon.