Thursday, August 6, 2009

Alazan take 2

So, for my loyal followers, you may recall that my very first blog post was about a Chilean Pinot Noir called Alazan. And I didn't think it was very good.

Shortly after posting that, I was contacted by Courtney Kingston of Kingston Family Vineyards who makes Alazan. She asked if I'd give it another shot. Sure, why not, especially since they graciously offered to send another bottle. Only difference was that it was a 2007, not a 2006 as before. But they swore that it's really good stuff, and they actually supply Cono Sur, the best cheap pinot of all time ($8-11 per bottle) with some of their fruit.

Again, as a reminder, the 2006 was $25 and comes from Casablanca Valley in Chile. MSRP of the 2007 was $30, so probably the same price retail.

Well, this went MUCH better. As they suggested, I decanted it for about 4 hours; in their own tasting notes they say this wine is tight. A great smokey, intense nose. Taste had nice fruit, but not overwhelming, good length, a well constructed solid wine. None of the watery, thin character of the 2006 bottle. I'm hoping/guessing we had a bad bottle of the 2006, even though there were no obvious flaws. Weird.

So, thanks Courtney. You indeed make some very tasty pinot noir. Yay!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Post number 50!

When I get to post number 51, you can look back fondly and say you knew me way back in the day. Would have blogged sooner, but we've drunk nothing new lately.

Well, get ready for another biased blog. Tonight we drank a 2006 Hocus Pocus Pinot Noir, made by my friend Amy Christine and her man Peter ($25 at K&L Wines). Although I think they make their wines in the Santa Ynez area, they sourced the grapes from the Seven Springs vineyard in Willamette Valley, Oregon, one of our favorite areas for pinot noir, and a great vineyard.

This is good stuff, although it threw me at first. Initially it had a bit of a sweetness I didn't care for, mixed with some interesting smokiness. After letting it open up a bit and drinking it with dinner, it was quite nice. We paired it with marinated Ahi and some sauteed squash and red bell peppers. Pretty mellow stuff, very drinkable and low alcohol (12.5%). Nice effort.