Just back from the Stonier International Pinot Noir tasting. It’s actually the 14th time this tasting has been held globally, and the idea is to taste 12 great Pinot Noirs from around the world, blind, and then discuss them.
There is no winner. Each table of tasters contributes to the discussion, via a table captain, but the idea is more to explore Pinot Noir without the preconceptions that seeing the label brings.
The 12 wines included four Burgundies, two Oregonians, two Kiwis, two Tasmanians, and two mainland Aussies. The northern hemisphere wines were 2008 vintage; those from the southern hemisphere were 2009.
It was a really fascinating process. Many of the great and the good of the UK wine trade were present, and what was amazing was the diversity of views and preferences.
Pinot Noir seems to do this. I found some of the views expressed to be absurd. To my palate. I found it relatively straightforward to identify the four Burgundies (the panel, and some others present in the room, seemed to struggle a bit), but I couldn’t reliably tell the new world countries apart.
Some of the wines I loved; some I rather disliked. My favourite three were the Tamar Ridge Kayena Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009 Tasmania, the Cristom Jessie Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008 Oregon and the Stonier Windmill Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009 Mornington Peninsular. My favourite Burgundy was the Armand Rousseau Clos de la Roche 2008. 2008 is quite a difficult vintage in Burgundy, and it showed.
I’m busy writing up the evening in full.