100% Pinot Noir
I consider a wine like this a timid step forward for those looking to ever-so-slowly “get their wine-drinking into France,” when they used to drinking mainly Cali Pinot.
The problem I have found is that when people start out their wine drinking lives by starting with New World Pinot Noir and then try to back into the Old World, their main criticism always seems to be that the wines are “weak” and “watery.” This used to really bother me! I would always try to explain about “subtlety,” “femininity,” “restraint,” “savory elements” and “elegance” which is to be found in a large proportion (but not all) of the wines of Oregon and Burgundy.
This in contrast to what seems to be “the norm” coming out of California in the sub-$25 Pinot category, with descriptors such as: “intense,” “heavy on the oak and alcohol,” “off-balanced,” “Mega Purple” and “that feeling you get when you’re being punched in the face by an angry red cherry and then kicked on the ground by a pissed-off strawberry.”
Converting Pinot drinkers doesn’t bother me anymore. I help where I can, but it’s not a paid gig, and don’t consider myself the Mother Teresa of Old World wine. I would rather have people find out for themselves, and if they don’t “get it”…..well….then there’s more for the rest of us.
The Vincent Girardin Estate isn’t certified as a organic/biodynamic winery, but they follow most of its principles. The winery uses zero insecticides or herbicides and all of the compost used in the winery is specially created by a nearby biodynamic farm.
Subtle and restrained; but as I said at the beginning of this post, this wine skews more towards the fruit than it does the savory elements (i.e. in the same way that is to be expected from a Californian Pinot). Not that this is Old World dressed up in New World clothing…
The red and black cherry should come as no surprise, with stewed strawberry and raspberry as secondary flavors. Oak is evident but not overwhelming. I also get coffee, licorice, dried herbs, earth, with even a little cola in there. Fairly smooth on the finish and certainly something I would have no hesitation in drinking again…but maybe if I’m taking it to someone else’s house in a bid to subtlety convert them to the Old World.
The obvious pairing would be to go with French cuisine, i.e. pate, duck, game, or charcuterie etc. Also give thought to dishes with complimentary ingredients such as red fruit reductions, mushrooms, truffles, rosemary, thyme, oregano, cloves, allspice and nutmeg.
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