Little Yering Pinot (like me?)

Tuesday evening brought together some old friends, delicious food and of course.. vino.  We went to OM, which you can see offers an amazing assortment of Mediterranean and Asian infused cuisine.   After we chatted for a while, and pouuured over the menu, we selected our unique dishes and then I was asked to select a wine.  This was kind of challenge.  Just because I have a blog doesn’t render me an expert.  Remember, anyone can have a blog…

So in any event, selecting a wine for a variety of dishes was a new challenge, so here was my thought process:

Nick was having Lamb in some serious sauce
Hilary was having a much lighter seared Tuna dish
and I was having Tofu.  Odd combo… so…

I decided to base my selection on the “middle” dish, which to me was Hilary’s Tuna– good flavors, delicate meat, notable texture.  From there, I just hoped to pick something with enough flavor and texture that it could keep up with Nick’s lamb– and I personally think just about anything is alright with tofu.  I selected (eventually) the 2008 Yering Pinot Noir.  (“Like me” is the title of the post because you all know me.. and I’m a bit of a shrimp. I mean, I’m fun sized).   I chose this because Pinots (French- Noir (red grape)! not, the Italian Grigio (white grape) in this case) often have a lot of fruit, they aren’t very dry but they have a medium body which means the flavor wouldn’t be lost in comparison to a lamb dish (or, so I hoped).  Pinot Noir are typically grown in France but have been branching out around the world. This one, for example, is from Australia.  Pinots are lighter than Merlot and Cabernet, but have a lot of flavor with a little less spice that Zinfandels; I was hoping this bottle would highlight the spices in our dishes, rather than distract us.

Basics:
Yering Station Vineyard: Victoria, Australia’s first vineyard is located in the the Yarra Valley an hour’s drive from Melbourne.
Varietal Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Alcohol: 13.7%
Time in Barrel: 9 Months (anything longer than a few months usually emits a bit of a flavor– oak, in this case).
Color: Crimson– the color typically hints at the barreling process– if it’s lighter red, it usually lacks the wood flavor, if it’s a deeper red, you can taste the oak (better, in my opinion).

I think it was a pretty good call!
Flavors: I smelled the wine– which had really strong aromas of berry, slight bit of flower and spice!  Wasn’t sure what, but after a few sips, I could draw out a little more: definite hints of cherry (which has a really deep smell, almost bitter smelling -odd description, I know), violet/lavender, and the spice was actually more like– smoke!  Not tobacco, but the aroma of driving through a neighborhood where you can smell the wood fire of a house– so not too strong.  The body was in the medium range– so it started nice and boldly catching all of those aromas and it finished well, too.  Meaning that I could really taste the flavors until the last drop, even against a strongly spiced broth.  One reason I think the wine’s flavors were so evident was in part because of the oaky balance in the smell and taste.  Sometimes, the wood base (which usually has to do with how it is barreled, see above) counterbalances the immense fruit.  Or at least, it can if the oak and the fruit is each strong enough.  In this case, it was.  I believe that Nick and Hilary thought the balance worked with their dishes as well.   Maybe they’ll comment?

Texture? The one thing I thought was not fantastic about this wine was the texture- or lack thereof.  I couldn’t really feel the wine– no velvet, no tannin or bitterness to seep into my tongue…  just a quick rush through the palate.  I wish there was a little more fullness to the taste– but the  flavors were really ideal with such a varied, flavorful meal.

Pairing: I honestly think Pinot is one of the best choices when having fish.  I think it works with salad and soups too.  I think it was probably only OK with Nick’s lamb dish which smelled so flavorful I wasn’t sure he could really taste the wine (and was just too nice to tell me?).  In any event, this bottle was $30 at the restaurant but it retails for much less at $15.  Hello, restaurant markup!

Hilary, Nick and myself

Julia Uncorked Says: 80/100.  Great flavors, missing texture but overall it’s a great choice especially when you’re dealing with a few different dishes.  Oh, and here’s a fun picture… post wine “tasting”:

As always– looking for suggestions for wine, or helpful hints on what I should include in these little reviews.  Hoping to do a tasting next week with friends so I’ll be able to share more opinions on the wines we choose!  Suggestions for selections welcome!

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2 Responses to “Little Yering Pinot (like me?)”

  1. Julia’s take on our wine was pretty apt. It worked really well with my tuna, accenting the flavors without overwhelming them. I did try Nick’s lamb, and while perhaps a wine with slightly stronger flavors and finish would have been more suitable for his dish, I still enjoyed the combination. I think it was definitely a good choice for working with all of our varied dishes, and would be a good choice to combine with most lighter dishes (fish, salad, soup, tofu). Quite excited to hear it only retails at $15!

  2. Hi fellow wine blogger!

    I really like your post. I had some similar notes on the Little Yering Pinot- definitely a lot of cherry- http://howmanywines.wordpress.com/2010/10/23/2008-little-yering-pinot-noir/

    Good to know it went well with tofu- I never know where to start with matching wine to it.

    Thanks for your post. I’ll be sure to check back.

    Rob

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