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December 16, 2006

04 Penner-Ash, Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

Put the matches away. With what smells like a sixth grade experiment with bunsen burners and sulfuric acid, I'm a bit scared to be near this wine. But that toasty aroma evolves to smoky tar, which also comes through in spades on the palate. Despite the sheer intensity of this wine, it actually seems a little subdued. It's a little floral here, a little berried there, and always very grapey with a black licorice finish. The 03 Penner-Ash was a bit more plump, and I miss that quality here, but this is still a dense, blockbuster wine--albeit more than a bit intimidating.


Anonymous Craig Camp said...

I think that "plumpness" you miss that was in the 03 is exactly what most of us are trying to avoid when we make wine here in Oregon. Plump is not what pinot noir is about. Elegance and balance are the hallmarks of great pinot noir and the hot 03 vintage did not deliver those traits for Oregon winemakers and it is considered a less-than-great year.

11:25 AM  
Blogger Nilay Gandhi said...

I value the elegance of Eyrie as much as the richness of a well-aged Beaux Freres, and probably have a preference for the former. Not just pinot, but all great wine is about balance. And while the 04 Penner-Ash is attractive, it certainly doesn't have much in the way of balance. That isn't a problem, though. It's a delicious wine. I think it's a bit much to say all Oregon pinot is about elegance. Clearly, there are many different camps, and the diversity of great winemakers in the northwest is what makes the region so absolutely impressive.

11:34 AM  

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