Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pinot Noir Surprise

In mid-April I was at an event that was holding a silent auction and when the dust cleared I came home with a gift basket that included the 2009 Gruet Pinot Noir from New Mexico, a state known almost entirely for sparkling wines produced by Gruet.  The Gruet sparklers are delicious and a great value so I admit to being drawn to that particular gift basket of New Mexico products primarily because of the bottle of still wine.  It sat in the cellar until a whole Coho salmon arrived from Alaska during the Independence Day weekend.

The salmon was introduced to the grill and we opened the wine.  The wine was different.  It was fresh with fruit and had a wonderful aroma of red cherries and a strawberry or two, but to me the tannins and the finish were drier than I was expecting.  New Mexico is a very dry climate and to me this wine picked up on that. It had a finish that conjured up a sense of being arid.  My first thought was that it tasted that way because I know the climate where the grapes were grown.

There were several of us drinking the wine and the last person to try it was a big fan of pinot noir, but he had no idea what he was drinking or where it was from.  While he didn't immediately come up with the word arid he thought the wine was really dry on the finish and "not in a way I'm used to."  He liked the wine as much as the others who were drinking it and after a good discussion arid was the word the group came up with to describe the finish.  This wine tasted of the place the grapes were grown.  Fascinating.

Oh, it was great with the salmon.

2009 Gruet New Mexico Pinot Noir.  13% alcohol. 

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