Pinot Noir tastings are not easy at the best of times. Add to that brown bagging them and hoping that the 3 on 3 (Old World vs New World) will bring out a shining star or a personal gem that may be less than $100. I faced this challenge head on and the results were very interesting to me. One old and two new world. The flavours I like in the old world include earth, leather, forest floor, mushroom, some pepper, some cherry. The flavours I like in the new world… well let’s just say they are evolving but generally strawberry and cherry with some baking spice and vanilla for good measure.
One of my biggest problems with new world Pinot of yore is that it was just too jammy and fruity and completely lacked real earthy flavours. Now there are amazing New World offerings and so I wanted to see if wines in the same price range could dictate the flavour quality ratio.
Conclusion- $15 New World Pinot is fruity and light and can have some simple flavours that fit wonderfully well with a cheese and charcuterie plate.
My pick is the Leyda from Chile. While great on its own too I like the balance of some earthy flavours along with the red fruit.
There is no $15 Old World selection in a 750mL that I would recommend so New World wins this round.
$30 gets you lots of nice earthy, forest floor, barnyard and spicy overtones from both NW and OW.
This Santenay from Nicolas Potel is a real stunner for the price. Matches beautifully with grilled fish and roasted chicken or pork.
Oregon has been a favourite region of mine since my first drop of Argyle Brut (and then an extended visit to the area).
Ken Wright is a winemaker with the Midas touch. If you have a chance treat yourself and buy his single vineyard stuff.
Believe me this is my favourite kind of tasting so wait for upcoming “test nights” and the favourites that may stem from them.