Posts Tagged ‘Pinot Noir


In Pursuit of the Juiciest Wine: Day 117 – Veramonte Ritual Pinot Noir 2010

Veramonte Ritual Pinot Noir 2010It’s only 17 days until I move, and this is day 117 of the Juiciest Wine Tour. So happy synchronicity + 100 to me, which I’ll celebrate with Veramonte Ritual Pinot Noir 2010 Casablanca Valley from Chile.

I’ve had at least one other Chilean Pinot Noir. It was also a Veramonte, and I had it two years and one month ago. You can read about it and the Casablanca Valley here: In Pursuit of the Juiciest Wine: Day Twenty.

The wine bottle is wide with thick glass and the punt is also wide and fairly deep. (Punt is the dimple in the bottom of a wine bottle. It is also referred to as a “kick-up.”) It’s almost like a champagne bottle. But enough of that. To the wine.

I poured a glass two hours ago, so it should be ready by now.

The color is like a red cranberry color. It’s kinda bright for a wine. And it’s 60% opaque.

It’s quite leggy, too. The legs form quick, fall quick, but linger a long, long time. And the wine swirls for a long time. You know, like if you swirl a glass of wine and then stop, the swirl continues for a few seconds, but this one is lasting for like ten seconds and then it oscillates like a wave for a few seconds more . . . and then the legs.

This is wine is so interesting even before I smell it.

I know all wines are alive, well, most, bust this one seems like it has physical presence or a conscious presence. It’s like it has things it wants to do and places to go and things to say. It’s corporeal with meditative thoughts. I hope it’s imaginative, too.

The nose has dark cherries and dark plums. I inhale and see plum pulp. There’s a bit of toast, too. (Maybe that’s why the champagne bottle. Ha. Get it? Too big of a leap?)

The taste matches the nose and with a little chalky finish on the tongue. The finish is also spicy, especially if you inhale through the nose while the wine is still in the mouth.

The taste has raspberries and an underlying juicy plum.

I really like the body. It’s a medium-light body. I just like how it feels in  my mouth. All of the sudden I think it feels like the Saturnalian vortex, Saturnarian vortex, hm, the vortex on Saturn.

Saturn Vortex

Maybe that’s why this wine swirls so long in the glass. Hmmmmmmmmmm.

The finish also has a dry juiciness. A dry raspberry and slight plumy juicy finish at that.

I paid $14 at Mahan’s for this. That seems a fair price to me.

It’s a solid wine. I give it 88 or 89 points. I give it 88 as a Pinot Noir, but 89 and maybe 90 as an outright wine.//


In Pursuit of the Juiciest Wine: Day 116 – Ryan Vineyard Calera Pinot Noir 2005

The Universe (which is really boredom) called out to me tonight to have a wine tasting. Ennui, I mean the Universe, said, “Tom, you got a lot of things done today.” (The Universe is wise to realize that doing two things in one day of unemployment is, in fact, a lot. I’m surprised I didn’t take a nap after going both to the bank and the post office in one afternoon. And, I walked to both places! Yeah, walked.) The Universe continued, “To celebrate, you should have a wine tasting with one of the wines you have been saving.” I concurred completely. [Nods head]

Ryan Vineyards Calera Pinot Noir 2005Tonight I’ll be sampling Ryan Vineyard Calera Pinot Noir 2005.

I must have picked this up in August 2010 or so because I wrote about it here: But I’m going to ignore that post until I’m done tasting. Man, I hope it held up over the last summer and half of this summer.

Anyway, it’s normally a $50 of wine, but I got it for $25, I’ve been saving it, and tonight’s the night for it. Oh, and I’ve been decanting it in the refrigerator. . . . Did you hear that? I think the Universe just chuckled. Well, Mr. or Mrs. or Ms. Universe, it’s 80 degrees in my apartment and it’s the only way I can it to a reasonable drinking temperature. So there. Thhhhhhhhhhhhhppppt.

By the way, does anybody else find it difficult to do a wine tasting with their eyeglasses on or is it just me and me wanting to get my nose in to the glass?

The wine is very light. That is, it’s about 75% opaque. It’s a dark cherry/maroon color, which even holds true on the meniscus, except the very top where it’s clear.

It smells like it’s going to be a big body, like a Syrah. It smells dark and with cheese. It’s like sniffing in the back of a cheese cave, if those exist. I also pick up some deep, dark cherries. I also get some leather.

Well, it’s definitely matured. It’s solid and dark in taste, like the middle of some ancient Germany forest. And it finishes quick, like any glimpse of light that you’d see from the middle of that mythic Germany forest would quickly disappear as if by Faustian magic and alchemical uttering. I was going to say I could taste some Grimm’s tale witch in this wine, but no, I taste Mephistopheles. And the devil always makes things taste better. That’s a fact. Ask the Universe. Wait, I’ll ask:

“Hey, Mr./Mrs./Ms. Universe, does Mephistopheles make everything taste better?”

“Why, yes, yes he does. But the devil’s curse is not in the good tastes he creates for us but in the weight gain and hangovers he gives to us. So be careful and be sure to drink lots of water.”

“Thanks, Universe. You’re so ubiquitous and knowledgeable.”

If someone served this wine to me, I would not guess that it was a Pinot Noir. But I know it will go good with cheese and crackers, which very well may be dinner tonight.

This bottle is a lot different than it was two years ago. I still like it, but not for $25. . . . Wait. What? Is that you Universe. “Yes, it is me. The heat is and/or has affected the wine. You gotta keep the wine at a constant cool temperature. . . . Now, where’s that cheese. You don’t think moons are made of cheese, do you? C’mon. I’m hungry. Besides, I’ve had a rough day. Someone thinks they discovered my Higgs Bosons.//


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day ninety-seven (Bear Boat Pinot Noir 2007)

Oh man, day 100 of the juiciest wine tour is coming up quick. Believe me, I’ve had more than 100 bottles of wine since April 1, 2010, when I began this blog, but, currently, I’ve only written about 96. Today I will write about my experiences the Bear Boat Pinot Noir 2007 from the Russian River Valley.

The Russian River Valley, located in northern California, has a fine reputation for wines. I’ve had a couple other wines from this region. I can’t remember what they were. I just remember goodness.

Russian River Valley

Bear Boat Pinot Noir 2007And so I’ve also heard good things about the Bear Boat. I’ve actually been saving it for a month or so.

This has been breathing for about an hour now, so it should be good to go.

When I poured it into the glass I noticed two things. One, it had a thin cherry color as it fell from the bottle into the glass. Two, it reeked of alcohol. That’s probably not a good thing, but it could be.

I love the transparency of this wine. It’ like 50% transparent. It looks like a sunset off the Oregon coast. It looks like an Oregon Pinot Noir.

As I look for pictures of this bottle of wine, the glass sits on my desk and the alcohol wafts up into my nose. This is powerful stuff. I’m a bit nervous to try this.

But before I do, you can see the picture of the bottle to the right. On the label are two bears. If you can’t read the label, the bear rowing the boat on the left says, “Full body, exquisite nose …”. The bear leaning on the bow on the right responds, “Careful, I’m spoken for.” Oh, good times are sure to ensue from this wine.

The story on the back label reads:

This is the story of Mac and Zeke, two inquisitive bears who find themselves on a quest to enjoy life’s great curiosities. With no actual destination in mind, they prefer to take in their surrounding and simply enjoy the journey. You’ll find them adrift wherever the current and the occasional row may take them.

It continues:

The Russian River Valley’s cool morning fog and moderate afternoon temperatures give the BearBoat Pinot Noir richness and texture with bright acidity that balances beautifully. The aromas are a blend of raspberry and red cherry with a toasty vanillla spice flavor and lingering finish.

Enough of all that. To the wine.

The nose is alcoholic. I also get toast and raspberry. It smells better than when I poured it. And I pick up a hint of cola. My girlfriend gets Dr. Pepper, lots of alcohol, and hint of musky flowers, like lilies.

Pink Lilies

On the palate, it’s quite plain, and tastes bigger than it looks. There is some spice, too. My girlfriend picks up pulled-pork that has cola in the sauce. Ha, I wish. Then it’d be good.

It has an acidic finish. That is it tastes sour or tart. Like sour cherries. It’s bitter. After a few sips, though, this acidic finish goes away, but it doesn’t “balance beautifully.” My girlfriend picks up fresh cucumbers.

It does get better with more sips, but not a lot.

I wouldn’t buy this again, especially for $16. It’s like a B wine. Like 87 points.//


in pursuit of the juiciest wine: day ninety-four (Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Silver Label Pinot Noir 2009)

Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Silver Label Pinot Noir 2009It’s been a while since I did a tasting because I’ve been busy, and I still am. So tonight’s tasting will be quick.

Tonight’s wine is Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Silver Label Pinot Noir 2009. (That’s a long name.) A friend recommended this to me at Mahan’s.

The nose is musky and peppery. There’s also a vanilla, currant jam smell to it. It smells juicy, which is what I want.

It’s thick on the tongue. It feels like a Salvador Dali painting on my tongue.

Salvador Dali Metamorphosis of Narcissus

Metamorphosis of Narcissus. (Click it to see it big.)

I pick up currants and cherries and some herbs.

On the finish, it’s slightly tart with a hint of pepper.

Despite the fact this Pinot is 50% opaque and a Pinot, it’s pretty heavy. It’s quite odd. I don’t mind, but I don’t expect it.

I like this. It’s one of the better California Pinot Noirs I have had. I still prefer my Oregon Pinots, though.

I’ll give it a B+.//


How Many Calories Are in a Glass of Wine?

I know some of you wine drinkers are counting calories or watching your weight, and you are probably wondering how many calories are in a glass of wine. As a result, I have been doing some research to determine how many calories are in a glass of wine. The calories vary by varietal, but they all have a similar number of calories. Below is a chart I made for the most common varietals, or the ones I drink most.

Three notes.

One: I broke this down by ounces, glass, and bottle. A bottle is 750 milliliters or 25.36 ounces, and a bottle is supposed to hold four glasses of wine plus a little more. (There are 1.36 ounces more, which, I have been told, have absolutely no calories!) So that is why there is a 6 oz column, because that’s a glass of wine. If you pour smaller or larger amounts in your glass, then you can multiply the 1 oz column by how many ounces you poured.

Two: Calories will also vary by vineyard. So the Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 may have a more or fewer calories than the Columbia Crest Cabernet Grand Estates Sauvignon 2007.

Three: Yes, I made that image above. Pretty good, hunh?! (Click it to see it large. Then click it again. I’m quite impressed with this image. I made the glass see through.)

Here’s the chart. It doesn’t include Tempranillo, but I assume they will be like a Granacha. If you want a printable version, click How Many Calories Are in a Glass of Wine?

Calories in Wine


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