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High end Pinot Noir

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Had dinner a week ago with a good friend that fancies Pinot Noir a lot and it seems we are together in a quest to discover and enjoy as many as possible. We had dinner at Le Bistrot Francais near Ateneu in Bucharest, the food was really good.

Three wines were served during the meal.

2009 Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Blanc seems to be losing the exuberant fruit that I enjoyed so much more than 1 year ago. Blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, this is a classic white Pessac-Leognan highly acclaimed in this vintage. Most of the aromas and luxurious fruit is there and still in a big way. Aromas of smoke, tropical fruits, mango, tangerines, pineapple and passion fruit just burst from the glass. Very enjoyable mouth-feel, with vibrant tropical fruit, almonds and luxuriant smart oak build nicely on the palate, especially as the wines warms up a bit in the glass. This is going to continue to be a great white wine. (94/100)

2011 Joseph Drouhin Chambertin Clos de Beze is a very young wine but it has so much potential to develop in time. The nose is complex, intense and youthful, and makes you think as if you are walking through a forest in the summer just after the rain: there are fresh pine needles, forest floor, mint, a bit of undergrowth and sweet red cherry. As intense as it appears to be on the palate this does not say much for now. There are savoury flavors of undergrowth, green tea and red currant, high acidity and sappy tannins. It did not appeal to the rest of the guests at the table, but you have to see its potential in time. This can become great in 7-10 years. (94/100)

2005 Bouchard-Finlayson Galpin Peak Tete de Cuvee Pinot Noir comes from the coolest area for Pinot in South Africa: Hemmel en Aarde, a small region that gets more and more attention this particular grape. It’s the second time I am having this wine – 1 year between them – and the wine continues to be excellent. In spite of a warmer climate compared to Burgundy, the wine has great freshness. Combined with the exuberant red cherry and raspberry fruit, forest floor and spices, this makes a for a complex and intense nose. Full on the palate, with smooth tannins and vibrant juicy  red fruits, it gets more complex on the mid palate with a smoky and savoury gamey flavor. Long and intense finish, really fresh with lingering red fruits aromas. (94/100)

For instant gratification Bouchard-Finlayson was definitely the winner and will continue to be there for the next 5-8 years easily. I would love to see Chambertin Clos de Beze in 10 years.

Categories: Bordeaux, Burgundy, France
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  1. May 7, 2015 at 13:10

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