If You Love Pinot Noir, Set It Free
with Nick Stengel
Wednesday, March 8th, 2017 / 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Tonight we will be exploring the range of lighter red wines. Winter will be over soon; spring vegetables are already in the market (even if they did come from Peru); so it's time to start shifting away from heavy winter wines. Pinot Noir is typically the go-to, but there is so much more to choose from. Pretty little Cinsault from S. Africa? Cru Beaujolais? Valpolicella? Come taste what your options could be!Wines are open from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
2014 Riebeek Cellars Pinotage (South Africa / Coastal Region / Swartland) $10.99 – 89 points Decanter Magazine. This is a lighter-styled wine, with hints of Christmas fruitcake, plum sauce and cherries all present in a very attractive, spicy style. It is round and well-made, quite drinkable and seductive. It should be consumed over the next year.
2014 Natte Valleij Cinsault (South Africa / Coastal Region / Paarl) $18.99 – The nose shows some floral perfume before wild strawberries, cherries and plums, as well as spice and a little earthiness. The palate is neither too light nor too weighty – it’s a really interesting interpretation of the variety being very much about fruit expression rather than structure, the tannins being particularly soft. This is not to say it’s a frivolous wine – on the contrary, it makes for a characterful and appealing drop and suggests that the variety might still have its day.
2014 Domaine De Grange De Payan Côtes du Rhône (France / Rhône) $10.99 – Nothing too complicated in this easygoing Cotes du Rhone for sipping or enjoying with pizza or burgers. Juicy and ripe with black cherry and strawberry fruit and plenty of licorice and cracked black pepper accents. The texture is soft, almost plush, and the finish ripe and juicy with light tannins providing just the right touch of support.
2015 J. Mourat Fiefs Vendéens Rouge (France / Loire Valley / Fiefs Vendéens) $15.99 – Balanced, mid-weight, and ripe – You’ll find big aromas of crushed black cherry, blueberry, crushed herb and warm spice wafting from your glass, and also a touch of fresh herb. On the palate, it’s richer and more mouthcoating than you’d expect in a Loire red, with flavors of chunky black raspberry and cherry at the core and accents of sweet spice, warm stone, and crushed herb.
2015 Te Mata Gamay Noir (New Zealand / Hawke's Bay) $18.99 – They’re doing this wine right, and pretty much at the right price. Not sure why we don’t see more Gamay planted in New Zealand. Cherry and raspberry, spicy and floral, white pepper and some smokiness. Light to medium bodied, juicy raspberry, spicy, crunchy and great to drink, with a light dusting of raspy tannin, and sweet fruited and peppery finish.
2014 Castelfeder Südtirol Breitbacher (Italy / Trentino-Alto Adige / Südtirol) $17.99 – Don't fear the umlaut, it's an easy drinking low tannin delight. Bright ruby-red in color, it shows fine fruit aromas as well as bright flavors. With its light and smooth tannins and a pleasant freshness, this well-balanced wine is uncomplicated and easy-drinking and a perfect combination to traditional Speck.