The one good thing about birthdays, however, is that you get to be truly self-indulgent, and it suddenly seems reasonable to open a £20+ bottle of wine any night of the week. Please don't expect any bargain reviews for Wine of the Week this time around. This blogger needed cheering up, and guaranteed quality is where I headed. Please don't let me count how much money was in the wines I consumed this week, for every penny was well spent.
This one was a fair bit darker but still a delicate pale cherry red colour. It had a light body and pretty high acidity which really makes the mouth water, tempting you to take another sip. There were lots of the delicious strawberry flavours I'd expect as well as some toasty almond from the oak aging. It's got a lovely long finish and continues to develop in the mouth for much longer than you'd expect from such a light wine. I saved some (with difficulty) to enjoy the next day. The flavours had developed further with hints of plum and cherry, and a real spiciness was starting to come through. All in all, a rather satisfying wine which would doubtless have yielded an even better experience had I had the patience to hold onto it for a year or two. I'm really grateful to have such wonderful friends, who ply me with delicious wines. One glass of this reminded me just how good life is and, for a few moments at least, made me forget all about adverts for pre-paid funeral plans. It also convinced Mr Purple Teeth that perhaps he'd been too hasty in judging a wine by it's colour.
Oregon is the prime Pinot Noir region in the States. The climate is perfect and the reputation of the wines is giving California run for it's money.
The flavour is fruits of the forest, so it's strawberry, but not those giant, bright red tasteless ones. Instead it's reminiscent of the dark and tiny wild strawberries you might be lucky enough to find on a woodland hike with hints of cherry and plum There's some vanilla and a creamy smoothness and perhaps even a hint of violet. It is a good balanced wine though the acidity and tannin was definitely less noticeable than in the other 2 examples. In the past I'd drunk this successfully with roast chicken or roast beef and this time, I drunk it just for pleasure, without food. On day 2, I tried serving it with a meatloaf. That was a mistake due to the tomato based sauce, so I put it to one side to drink later, and instead revisited D'Arenberg for a Dead Arm Shiraz. Well, it is my birthday week! If you really want to sample the Willamette Valley and Oregon Pinots, there aren't that many to choose from in the UK though The Wine Society also stock one for under £20, which I've now ordered to refill my rather depleted Pinot Noir shelf. More news on that once I've sampled it, no doubt.
Meanwhile, celebrations continued outside of the world of Pinot, and while I don't want to show this blog post to my doctor, I've enjoyed several other wines this week besides the ones featured above...
Perhaps getting older isn't so bad after all. Now roll on Christmas when I next get to drink myself silly for a week on premium wines! As for wine of the week next week, I think I'll give myself a week for my liver to recover and then let you know... Cheers!