Release price - $5.99/750ml
92 Pinot Noir
grape grower, Harold Pleasant, originally brought me two bins of this Swiss
clone of Pinot called Klevner Mariafeld in 1989 and asked me to see what
it made. I wasn't really interested in this variety, but thought I'd better
humor him and went through the motions of making a medium, bodied red wine.
Six or eight months later I was sampling it from the barrel and found it
had some real possibilities, a clean taste from ample acid, adequate but
not too much tannin and a nice strawberry/farmyard flavor- a pleasant barnyard
aroma, of horse lather, fermenting hay and fruit. All in all, a very good
food wine- in fact, we drink this at home several times a week- it really
goes well with a lot of foods- our favorite is linguini with smoked salmon
and pesto and we also enjoy it with Red beans and Rice. I haven't made
any of this since '92 and will be sad when this lot is gone- so had better
make some this year. Note: 11/99 - this wine is gone, but we've got some
more in barrels from the '98 that's just as good if not better.
I've had a somewhat tempestuous relationship with this variety over the years- but one thing I can say is that I've never made a wimpy one-they've always been monsters. The currently available versions are no exception, lots of fruit, tannin, and alcohol - both are good matches for lamb or richer ( read fatter) cuts of beef. I treat Merlot pretyy much the same as Cabernet, but usually shorten the time in barresls. I've been using Merlot for port and haven't made a table wine since '92. As you may know, the winter or 95-96 did a lot of damage to Merlot vines and the supply will probably be limited for a year or two more:
1989- drink now to 2002
1992 Reserve- drink 1998-2005.
to make Cabernet for long term bottle aging so most of them, despite long
barrel aging, are not ready to drink for ten years or more. The grapes
are usually fermented on the skins to dryness and aged about three years
in a mixture of new (10-20%) and old American and French oak barrels.
When needed, I blend 10-20% Merlot for complexity If you visit the winery,
you will usually be able to taste four or five vintages - currently
(8/98) you can taste 79, 83, 87, 88, 89, and 94 vintages-some for
a fee - but if you mention our web page, free- if it's the busy time of
the year, you may have to ask. Currently available for purchase and suggested
times to drink:
1994- 2002 +
1983- now to 2003
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