I started to write about this wine yesterday and instead … tangent!
One test of authenticity is age. And isn’t that true for just about everything? – friends, art, music, etc. – though maybe I’m biased. Sure, there are plenty of real wines best drunk while they are young, but the class of wines that age well excludes ones that are heavily manipulated, cosmetified, or otherwise tortured to resemble something disharmonious with their nature.
Accordingly, there are two Pinot Noirs: the Legend and the Brand. The Legend is often thought to be synonymous with great red Burgundy, but there are exceptions. La Cantera is a vineyard in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. The Brand needs the Legend, even if it can thrive without any tangible connection to it. The Legend, at this point, probably doesn’t need the Brand. The Legend, with its inherent scarcity and power over the imagination, sells itself. This is a wine of romantic contraditions. Fresh and old, powerful and delicate, fruity and earthy.
Short Name: Pinot Noir
Full Name: 2007 Wllamette – Chehalem Mountain
Producer: Bernard Machado, La Cantera Vineyard (24 acres)
Geography: Chehalem Mountain, Willamette Valley, Oregon
$14 glass, $55 bottle
Varieties: Pinot Noir 100%
Description: Age has a way of shedding force and simplicity in favor of complexity. Gone is the opaque purple of young wine. In its place is a pale rose and dried orange peel colored robe. In a proper wine glass the aromas are complex enough to defy neat lexical summaries. Cranberry, tea, wild strawberries, hen-of-the-wood mushrooms, like a walk through the tall grasses of Wabash and Temple … precise and yet infinite.
Comparables: Pinot Noir, Red Burgundy,
Pairings: Look for umami. Duck above all. And Potatoes are exemplary. Experiment with preparations that include miso, marsala, leeks, and fatty poultry. If its beef let it be either quite aged or slowly stewed without noisy volatile seasoning.
Why are you so into Pinot?
Great zoomable map!