A Pinot weekend

IMG_0390There is apparently a saying that God made Chardonnay, the Devil made Pinot Noir – or it was CabSauv the Deity made – whatever. The Devil made Pinot Noir. No not really.

The variety has some relation to Savagnin, how is uncertain. It is old, and mutates a lot. Wikipedia is wrong: it was not mentioned by Columella in his tutorial for Roman agriculturists, “De Re Rustica”. According to another of those books I read and then misplace it was first mentioned in the proceedings from a judicial court in Burgundy in the 14th century – a hired hand uprooted a Pinot vine and the owner became so infuriated he killed him. (It might be pointed out that according to OLD Burgundian law, uprooting somebody’s vines was a capital offence, but that was some 6-700 years earlier.)

Tasting with Munskänkarna, eating after, and, a day later, having supper with dear friends at “Mat & Vin” in Malmö, we chalked up 7 PNs last week end.

2012 Chambolle Musigny (Roux P & F) SEK 369 Cherry nose, nicely rounded on palate, too expensive.
2011 Schubert Marions Vineyard PN (NZ) SEK 319 Screams New Zealand at the top of its voice. Nice, but expensive-ish.
2011 Philip Kuhn Vom Kalsteinfels Pinot Noir Pfalz SEK 299 Dominated by a nice mocha tone from the barrels, which overshadows the PN character.
2011 Savigny-Champ-Chevrey (Tollot-Beaut) SEK 292 Oddly mute, light notes of cinnamon and cardamom on the nose, not well balanced, disappointing (I like a good Savigny-lès-Beaune for its fresh fruit which was very much lacking here). We visited Tollot-Beaut in 2009 and I was thoroughly underwhelmed. This wine did not raise the producer in my opinion.
2013 County Line PN Russian River USA SEK 293 Crushed strawberries, jammy, I would guess high in alcohol. Took it at first for a good Chilean PN. Not really my kind of PN, particularly not at that price.
2014 Bourgogne Rouge Labouré-Roi SEK 107 Definite bottle variation with some having obvious volatile acidity, others giving impression of secondary fermentation in bottle, and some being OK budget red Bourgs.
2012 Blauburgunder “Dechant” Weingut Bründlmayer (Kamptal, Austria) SEK 195 Highly satisfying PN with typical red berry nose, smooth and silky, and a steal at the price. Best wine this week-end.

Today, while the standard of PN is going up in New Zealand, the prices tend to follow. Perhaps it is not possible to make good PN at affordable prices – unless you are in Austria, apparently. Admittedly, that is for a given definition of ‘affordable’.

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