After 12 years in the San Francisco Bay area, the Pinot Noir Summit was held in Reno this year. A special trade session included a Pinot Noir workshop where Pinots from five different regions were represented and discussed.
From Chloe importers was Capitain-Gagnerot’s Ladoix, a premiere cru from Burgundy that tasted of raspberries, roses, earth and mineral. It has velvety tannins, a slight orange hue, and is made, as its elegant flavor portrays, with only 10% new wood and no stems.
The Astrolabe from Marlboro in New Zealand has a young-wine purple hue, with aromas of ripe raspberries, nettles and coffee. The tannins are silky.
Four Graces from Willamette Valley is a biodynamic, sustainable winery. The wine has aromas of tart raspberry, chocolate, rose petals, tea and bramble fruit. The wine is crisp and the tannins are soft.
Russian River was represented by Willowbrook Cellars. The Pinot Noir is a six clone blend with aromas of tart strawberry, raspberry, smoke and spice. It sees 25 to 30% new oak. The texture is velvety.
Schug winery is in Carneros in Sonoma where the vineyards are dramatically effected by the winds of the Petaluma Gap. As with the Mistral winds in the southern Rhone, the Petaluma winds keep the vines cool and dry and protect them from mold. The winds, also, become so intense they cause the vines to shut down which lengthens their ripening time. Schug’s Pinot Noir tastes of candied raspberries, strawberries, mineral and smoke. The wine has short skin contact and sees only neutral oak.
Each wine was lovely and each a little different, speaking to their individual terroirs. And, yes, I said trade session. After being a SAHM for the past 15 years, Mama has gone back to work, as a wine specialist and educator for a fantastic wine store that sends me to wine event trade sessions.
The winds of change can be both stressful and beneficial. So far, I love my job.