I was at at business dinner yesterday evening when my host graciously invited me to select a bottle of wine to accompany our meal. As he was having the Salmon, I was keen to select a Pinot Noir. With about 4 to choose from and I who am not a Pinot Noir lover I went with something from Oregon that was middle of the road in terms of price. I believe that this wine listed for about $54 at the restaurant which is about a 100% markup over what you and I would pay for a bottle at the local wine store.
As it turned out our host either does not drink or had decided to only enjoy ice water last night. So the classic Salmon / Pinot Noir pariing went by the wayside and only one other guest and I shared this bottle.
Now I've said before that I really do not count myself among the fans of the Pinot Noir wines - (the movie Sideways notwithstanding). Nevertheless, this was a pleasant surprise. Here are the notes I took:
Nose: Fruit forward nose with spices and peppery flavors. Big cherries, blackberries. Some hints of "warm spices".
Palate: Very strong flavors. With some air time olives and a warm minearliness emerge. There are underlayers of vanilla and cinnamon and licorice hints. Still the big berries are the storey here. Very big flavors that can stand up to the strongest of spicy foods. The mouth feel is nicely rounded and not sharp.
Finish: round and lacking the sharpness or abrasiveness that I have come to (negatively) associate with most Pinot Noirs.
Overall, this was an OK wine. It complimented the meal nicely but it would have been nice if others at the table had helped polish it off so that another bottle of something different could have been ordered.
Either way, all of us there did indeed Raise a Glass.