2009 Texas Sommelier Conference: The Pinot Noir Tasting

Today the 5th Annual Texas Sommelier Conference started with a Pinot Noir tasting and lecture at 9:00 a.m. Needless to say, I missed it. But Andrew Chalk was there and files this geeky report. (Geeky is good.) (Twitter reports: DSideDish)

It is 10:00 a.m. on Sunday and it has been a fairly typical morning. I have just finished eight Pinot Noirs at the 5th Annual Texas Sommelier conference at The Four Seasons Resort and Club in Las Colinas. The guided tasting was led by former sommelier and now wine critic (with Stephen Tanzer’s ‘International Wine Cellar’) Josh Raynolds. It has been, frankly, the most instructional hour on Pinot Noir that I have ever spent. For example, did you know there is more Pinot Noir grown in Champagne than in Burgundy? Or that the origins of the grape are not known? Or that the emerging areas for the grape are Australia, New Zealand and Chile?

Here are my notes and scores on the eight wines. These are necessarily brief and curt as they were keyed in ‘real time’ as the tasting proceeded.

2007 Messmer, Spatburgunder, Pfalz, Germany.
Faint nose.Hints of cherries.
T: Thin.

2006 Vincent Girardin, Volnay “Vielles Vignes” Burgundy, France.
N: Soft Pinot Fruit. Red fruit.
T: Medium body. Some tannin.

2007 Adelsheim, Pinot Noir, Arroyo Grande Valley, Oregon, USA
N: Forward red fruit.
T: Mouthfilling, open bright red fruit.

2006 Peay Pinot Noir, “Pomarium”, Sonoma Coast, California, USA
N: Feminine, voluptuous
T: Chocolate, red fruit. Unctuous. Very well balanced flavors.

2006 Talley Vineyards, Pinot Noir, Arroyo Grande Valley, California, USA
N: Tight, closed.
T: Black and red fruit. Not clear flavors.

2007 Felton Road, Pinot Noir, Central Otago, New Zealand.
N: Strawberry Jam
T: Slightly green High acid.

2007 Cono Sur, Pinot Noir, “20 Barrels”, Casablanca Valley, Chile.
N: Vegetal hints.
T: Chocolate

2006 Giant Steps, Pinot Noir, “Sexton Vineyards”, Yarra Valley, Australia.
N: Deep, slightly giving.
T: Red fruit. Coffee. Somewhat monolithic. Tastes like a warm climate Pinot

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2 comments on “2009 Texas Sommelier Conference: The Pinot Noir Tasting

  1. I like the use of “Pinot like fruit” on the Volnay. That is true varietal correctness, a surprisingly rare and elusive quality when tasting Pinot Noir’s!

  2. I thought the nose on the Burgundy was fantastic. The Adelsheim was a little thin, but it was not a single vineyard bottling.

    The tasting was a very good comparison of Pinot’s from across the entire world.