Pinot Noir can make mighty fine wines. Especially, but not exclusively, French Pinot Noir. So what kind of French Pinot Noir can you get for $10? We are going to check out a major producerís Languedoc (thatís an up and coming wine region from southwestern France) offering. The Patriarche winery has been in the business for some 230 years. If you are in the area check out their wine cellars that go back as far as the Twelfth Century. They have 5 kilometers (about 3 miles) of vaulted galleries holding millions of bottles that you enter from the Seventeenth Century chapel. You and two dozen to 250 friends and acquaintances can take a wine tour that finishes with a fine meal. They organize a special wine tasting for the world famous Hospice de Beaune Wine Auction on the 3rd Sunday of November. Or the previous day. Our companion wine is a central Italian Pinot Nero costing half again as much.
Letís start by quoting the marketing materials. ďTasting Note : Pale ruby colour; light cherry and spice aromas; sweet fresh cherry flavour, soft finish. Serving Suggestion : Serve with cold roast beef.Ē And now for my review.
At the first sips this wine was too sweet. It was long and plummy. When it encountered a commercial Shepherdís pie this drink offered balanced acidity and tannins but it was thin and too sweet. Japanese rice crackers strengthened and lengthened the contents of my glass. Then I doused the dish with a liberal amount of Chinese chili sauce. In response Red picked up some pepper.
My next meal featured that good old pal of Pinot Noir, a baked salmon filet that had been marinated in soy sauce, sesame seeds, black pepper, and a few red chilies. PN was earthy and woody, providing some acidity and no tannins. I didnít like the trace of sugar. When paired with a medley of roasted peppers over quinoa the liquid strengthened. It was long. Dessert was a homemade Moroccan-style almond and semolina cake that I half quenched with our Italian friend. The cake was delicious; the juice provided me with cherries and a burnt taste.
The final meal started with Mejadera, a Middle-Eastern vegetarian combo of brown rice and black lentils. The libation was thin but did possess pleasant oakiness and some plums. When paired with the main dish of chili this wineís acidity and length picked up but it was still thin. I noticed some pepper. Dessert was a slice of fruit juice candy. Now my wine was long, oaky, and metallic. It tasted somewhat burnt.
Final verdict. Economic reality strikes again. I donít plan on buying this wine again.Access the companion wine A Central Italian Pinot Noir.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would
rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario
French-language community college. His wine websites include
www.theworldwidewine.com and http://www.wineinyourdiet.com
Visit his website devoted to italian travel www.travelitalytravel.com
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