Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Region: Russian River Valley – California – USA
Cost: $25 (SRP)
Winemaker’s Notes: Cherry red color with aromas of cherry, raspberry, peppery spices, and a touch of oak. In the mouth an elegant to full body Pinot Noir with elegant balance and good depth. Pairs well with pork tenderloin, salmon, and filet mignon.
My Review: I’ve had this wine sitting on my racks for a while, which is a bit weird since I usually don’t let Pinot last that long in my house. Regardless, last week on an evening the wife was out and I was home alone, I finally got around to opening up the bottle and I definitely regretted taking so long to get to it.
A medium-dark red color in the glass, aromas of raspberry, spice, and oak were the most noticeable to me, and on the first sip the raspberry and some cherry really came through. It wasn’t until I had finished cooking myself some dinner and paired the wine with it that I started to be really blown away.
For dinner I had cooked up a piece of salmon that I had covered in a mustard/lemon/herb mixture that while not fancy, at least added some nice flavor to it, and for a side dish I cooked up some pesto risotto since it just sounded good. Without food the wine was a good, quality, but somewhat unremarkable Pinot that I wouldn’t have told people to pass on, but that I don’t know that I would have rushed out to buy again over something else. With the food it was something else.
I don’t know if it was my particular way of cooking the food, the food in general, or something else, but when paired with the food, the wine went from good to great. All of the same raspberry, cherry, and spice notes were still there, but right at the finish there was added this mocha/espresso/coffee/chocolate note that I just found amazing. I couldn’t get enough of it. I wanted to make more food just to keep getting it.
Sadly the food, and the wine, were both gone after some time, but I can say that having had this experience, it makes me want to try the 2009 Biltmore Reserve Pinot Noir again to see if it was just what I cooked or if it’s something that I can replicate with other food pairings, because it was amazing.
If you can’t find the 2009 Biltmore Reserve Pinot Noir near you (and I haven’t seen it in my local store either), you can follow this link and have it shipped directly to you, which I recommend.