So I did Pinot’s bamboozability last week, which was all about the red version.
This week my post is all about white Pinots and white Pinot from red Pinot, if you get me.
If you just want to cut to the wine which tastes like a, er, Custard Cream biccie, that’s at the end, but if you want to read more about a potentially new and exciting direction for Oregon white wines, then check this lot out…
At the annual Washington State & Oregon generic trade tasting last week I was short on time so I limited myself to tasting a selection of Oregon’s reputable Pinot Noirs. But as I headed my way over to the table, a little sign saying ‘Pinot Blanc’ caught my eye.
There were only four wines in this section, but I was pretty impressed by Oregon’s efforts with this grape. As I started to taste, one Pacific NW wine expert leaned over and said to me: “If an Oregon producer bothers to make Pinot Blanc, it’s because they think there’s something to be bothered about”, and d’you know, I think he was right.
These wines are raaaaaaacy, make no mistake. Lip-smackingly fresh in fact, especially in the case of Brooks Runaway Willamette (pronounced like dammit – always love that) Valley Pinot Blanc 2010, which is available at Stone, Vine & Sun.
Elk Cove Pinot Blanc 2010 on the other hand, had the bright acidity but with a welcome layer of creaminess to boot. Together with the creaminess, it had a really nostalgic, pretty floral aroma of jasmine. Good stuff. That can be found in Yorkshire’s House of Townend for around a tenner.
WillaKenzie Valley Pinot Blanc 2009 was a fine version as well, and it was even broader than the Elk Cove. In fact this had very specific – not to mention gorgeous – smoked almond aroma (who doesn’t like smoked nuts, right?). More zippy acidity, that’s a given by now I suppose, and a textured, chewy palate, maybe it was the tiniest bit hot on the finish, other than this little flaw, the rest of this wine was really enjoyable. Around £17 at Slurp.
The fourth in the line-up was Anne Amie Vineyards Pinot Blanc 2009. This had more of a spicy take on Pinot Blanc with a taut, focussed, white pepper character to the nose and palate, and guess what else? Racy acidity! I was told this has a UK importer/listing but I’ve yet to find the details, as soon as I do, I’ll add them in here.
Now it’s Custard Cream time. The white Pinot Noir came next. That’s right, a WHITE Pinot Noir. Well, I guess they do it in Champagne, so why not here? This was also from Anne Amie Vineyards, I only really tasted this for the novelty value, but it was totally dominated by another nostalgic (but wish it was more current!) aroma – Custard Creams. Or was it vanilla ice-cream? Actually I think it was both. So yes, pretty unusual and quite weighty, textured, and that overwhelming flavour of vanilla, but not in a heavy, oaky sense as is so often the case with wine.
This one is still looking for UK stockists. Clearly there’s not enough of a market for wines that taste of Custard Creams out there just yet. I guess if people want a Custard Cream they just have a biscuit, and you can’t really argue with that.
But those Oregon Pinot Blancs are definitely worth a go this summer on a blazing hot day, which is wishful thinking right now, I know…