Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I am not known for being a big Pinot noir fan. Hang on, let me elucidate my position with regards to wine made from this particular grape variety: I am not known for being a big fan of Californian Pinots. Actually, I can be even more specific, I am not a big fan of Napa Pinots. In fact, I am of the opinion that the best thing to do with local Pinot noir is to make it into sparkling wine. It was with some surprise then that I recently found myself thoroughly enjoying a 2009 Black Kite Cellars Kite's Rest Pinot noir from the Anderson Valley (Sonoma).
Now and again I can force myself to appreciate, to some extent, fruit-forward interpretations of Pinot noir, after all I do love strawberries. However, I do not like versions of this wine that I would personally describe as smelling not unlike sweaty socks, anaerobic compost bins, or musty mushrooms - although I am a big fan of fungi. A Christmas gift to Vinomaker from a friend, this Pinot (as yet unreleased) was nothing like I was expecting it to be. It was delicious.
As this wine isn't out in the market yet it was difficult to find any information about the 2009 vintage, except for a little snippet on that commented that this wine would probably peak around 3 years from now. Three years? Vinomaker and I finished this bottle in one sitting, a rare event for us, it was simply that tasty.
Whilst this wine is no Burgundy, I don't think I have ever enjoyed any bottle of Pinot noir so much as I enjoyed this one. Plainly, I have to procure for myself another bottle of Kite's Rest to ensure that my initial reaction to this wine wasn't just some tasting aberration on my part.


Vinomaker said...

Finally a Pinot Noir that I can honestly say that I am sorry the bottle was empty. This one lacked the overly earthy component but had lots of tasty fruit instead. Besides, it was more of the chunky monkey style that I enjoy!

Vinogirl said...

Vinomaker, we NEED another bottle!

Weston said...

drink Oregon Pinot! its amazing, Sonoma is good but just a lot bigger...Napa Pinot madness! I usally dont even try it if its at a Cali tasting lol. <--- Total Snob

Affer said...

Slightly to one side of your post, I wonder if you have tried the Richard Grant 'Wrotham Pinot'? The story is interesting - not sure if that applies to the 'bubbly' though!

Do Bianchi said...

how was the wood factor on this wine?

speaking of Burgundy and its imitators, what's your take on Eric's profile of Kistler and how they're changing their style?

Pretty impressive to hear both of you say that you dug this bottle, btw...

Vinogirl said...

Weston: Have had a few on the past, they are still Pinot!

Affer: No, I haven't tried it, but the Wrotham Clone is indeed a great story...maybe a future post :)
Dr. Peterson is of course more famous for being the dad of Heidi Barrett, but I like the fact that he invented the steel barrel pallet.

2B: Oak - minimal...that's probably one of the reasons that I enjoyed it so much.
I have never had a Kistler Chard or Pinot. The Californication of two venerable Burgundian grape varieties is a sure way to keep me from trying certain wineries offerings! Like everything else, wine making often suffers from the slings and arrows of outrageous faddiness. In the grand enological scheme of life...all things must pass.
Hardly ever read Asimov.

New Hampshire Wineman said...

Vinogirl, as of today, CT gives this wine a 90.5 (Oh, sorry for the 100 point scale;-), but as CT is fairly stingy, I would say they must have read your post!