Wednesday, July 29, 2009

2006 J RRV Pinot Noir: Capital Gazette "Perfect pinot noirs for summer"

Wine, etc.: Perfect pinot noirs for summer
Published 07/29/09

Every pinot noir column should start with an apology. Prices for these wines are out of the range of most consumers, but $50 is about what it takes to get a full-body pinot noir from the West Coast. That's a far cry from the time when only the wines from Burgundy commanded those kinds of prices.

Blame it on price and demand. As the grape has become more popular, vineyard owners have been able to increase the price of their fruit or sell their land. Like in Burgundy, producers have been making small lots of pinot noir from vineyards whose fruit was often used in blends. Small means expensive.

Still, a good pinot noir at this time of the year is very enjoyable. It is the wine we pour with grilled salmon, lamb, hamburgers, cold pasta and even chicken. There are plenty of excellent pinot noirs coming out of the Willamette Valley in Oregon and in Monterey and Russian River Valley in California. Here are a bunch of pinot noirs we recently tasted from the West Coast and even France:

J Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2006 ($38)

Known most for its sparkling wine, J also produces an excellent pinot noir using grapes from the prized Russian River Valley. Broad in the palate, it has the earthy, mushroom character often found in burgundy. Red berry flavors and a generous dollop of spice.

Find recommended wine: J Russian River Valley Pinot Noir: Eastport Liquors, Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits

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