Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Erath Pinot Noir Estate Selection

Erath Vineyards
Pinot Noir
Estate Selection
Dundee Hills
Dundee, Oregon, USA

$23.99 -- Costco, Austin, TX

Color: Medium strawberry with a touch of purple
Nose: Cranberries, strawberries, bacon, cinnamon
Body: Medium
Front: Cherry
Middle: Peach, pie crust
Back: Sage, graphite
Burns clean?: Yes
Cap: Cork

Give this one some air, and you will be much rewarded. It's a fascinating bottle of wine, with fruit flavors and more earthy, herby-spicy ones mixing together. When it's just opened, the nose is berryish and the palate kind of flat. But after it's been open for an hour and a half, things get much more interesting. This is the best American Pinot I've had for this price; really, for under $30.

The Erath paired well with the baked chicken, garlic, and onion I made for dinner, and with the music: Dan Cohen's brand-new release, Shhhh, a collection of laid-back, astonishingly skilled guitar instrumentals that Cohen both wrote and performs.

Note, 13 January 2010: I tried the Erath Prince Hill Pinot, also 2006, and also great. It was different; a bit more herbiness and different sorts of red fruit. It deserves its own review--someday: I think that it's really going to benefit from a few years of cellaring, which will bring up the volume on some of the earthy flavors that haunt its palate.