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March 09, 2010

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Lenn,

Great post!

I have to say I am not well schooled in Pinot Noir. But this article has stirred my interest in this grape.

I do have that bottle of Freedom Run, from the NYCC waiting to be opened...which will be soon.

Now I wish the Taste Live event this month was sooner, so I could get a better handle on this grape.

Lenn, this was a great post. I think you said it very well indeed when you conclude "Location, expression, passion."

This is the "story" of Pinot Noir in a nutshell. For a millenia now it has been known that the Cote d'Or is the best location, it gives the archetype expression, and without passion it would prove to be the most disappointing region in the world - if it didn't reach the sky in quality a couple of times a decade!

Pinot Noir is extremely personal. If you are a studied wine drinker, Pinot Noir can please you in a very deep and meaningful way even when it "fails" to live up to expectations. It's flaws are part and parcel its very character. Pinots are an intellectual exercise, rarely a hedonistic one.

The $10 mass-production kind, are the real failures to me. They lack the passion of a winemaker, the terrior of a specific location, and ooze lifeless flawlessness. They are somewhere between silicon enhancements and white bread.

The FLX as a Pinot Noir growing region seems a very noble thing to fight for, requiring passionate people. It seems they're already there.

Location, location, location.

I don't think making pinot noir in the winery is that much harder than the other red grapes in the region. It's just that everything you do to it is amplified and there isn't much room for error.

Growing pinot is another story..its easy to ripen but not easy to keep disease free.

I'm not completely sold on tons per acre as well (under 3 tons at least). I've tasted great over-cropped pinot on appropriate soil, and I've had uninspired under-cropped pinot on other soils.

I'm def not sold that "As long as classic Burgundy pinot noir remains the reference wine, there is absolutely no doubt that the Finger Lakes is the best home for pinot noir".

As more and more winemakers get their hands on healthy Niagara Escarpment grapes, I see that AVA becoming the home for the most Burgundian pinot noir in the state. I truly did not believe this or even want to believe that when I moved here, but I've seen enough and tasted enough to know that the clay and limestone soil here just works.

While the number of wineries here making pinot is still small making it difficult to taste Niagara Escarpment versions, a trip across the border to Le Clos Jordanne, Tawse or Flat Rock Cellars are great examples of what established wineries are doing with escarpment pinot noir.

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