05 July 2006

TN: Pinots, grey and black

[Coteau]Domaine Coteau 2003 Pinot Noir (Yamhill County) – Rough, chewy dark berries with brighter raspberry and rhubarb elements and some basso soil undertones. There’s earth, there’s structure, and there’s fruit, but it’s all a bit untamed and unruly at the moment. (7/06)

Domaine Coteau (not to be confused with California pinot producer Radio-Coteau), puts much of its qualitative focus on vine density, yet another of the viticultural methods available for stressing, and thus concentrating, fruit. The results do seem to show here, vs. other Oregon pinots, but simple concentration is not enough…especially for pinot noir. But this is a young winery, so there’s plenty of time to work things out. Alcohol: 14.5%. Closure: cork. Web: http://www.domainecoteau.com/.

Trimbach 2001 Pinot Gris Ribeauvillé “Réserve” (Alsace) – Big but refined crystalline pear and good, crisp acidity. Always solid. (7/06)

The residual sugar in this wine is always just at the barest edge of perception, but in good years (like 2001) the perfect balance of fruit and acidity leaves an impression not of sweetness, but of richness. Such is the case here. Alcohol: 13%. Closure: cork. Importer: Diageo. Web: http://www.maison-trimbach.fr/.

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