Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Ever in search of terrific pinot noir, I look to my wine broker to come through with new and different pinots, which are shipped to my door every other month or so. Generally, I can get my hands on most of the cabs and zins and almost everything else I crave around here. But scoring unusual pinots from small producers is all but impossible, unless you've got a good broker -- the only kind of broker you really need.

A shipment came not too long, and just the other day I got to try my first Sadler Wells pinot noir, a 2003. While it was not a blockbuster, I was definitely impressed by the true pinot noir flavors and the subtle but spicy signs of terroir.

So many of the pinot noirs from the large producers these days have similarly really ripe cherry/berry flavors. Not really anything wrong with that, but the complexity and balance of a Burgundy-style pinot can do so much for a dinner that I sometimes pine for a more distinctive California pinot.

The Sadler Wells hit the spot. This is a wine that starts out with smooth blackberry flavors that slowly morph into cinnamon and other brown spices. And, it showed terrific balance that made it a great companion to our black pepper- and sesame-crusted ahi tuna. While it has 13.9 percent alcohol, I was not aware of any heat on the tongue. Like I said, balanced. This pinot reminded me very much of some of the more interesting Oregon pinots that I've had.

I definitely am looking forward to some more special deliveries. Single-vineyard wines from small producers like this are not easy to come by in the East -- outside New York. It's nice to know these small producer-pinots are not just for Californians.


Blogger Deb said...

I've enjoyed some interesting Pino's from Washington and Oregon which I'm a little stuck on right now...Funny how I end up doing that & increasing the potential to miss other gems out there!

6:42 PM  
Blogger JD said...

Deb, I've also enjoyed a number of fine Oregon pinots, and I'm a fan of Washington wines. But I can't say I've had a really memorable Washington pinot. Got any recommendations?

9:37 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home