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Pinot noir on upswing in white-wine bastion Alsace? Thank climate change

NASA predicts that the Arctic Ocean will be basically ice-free during the summers about 30 years from now. That's good news for prospective vacation-home developers up that way (truly a niche market), and for the rest of us, the good news is that increasingly good pinot noir is coming out of the...

Pinot Noir 2017, Wellington, New Zealand – a film

  While I was attending Pinot Noir 2017, I put together a short-ish film of the proceedings, capturing some of the best moments of the three days. It was a trill remarkable event: it wasn’t just the 117 wineries and the lovely New Zealand Pinot Noirs they poured, but instead there was a narrative theme running [...]

Canadian Wine at Vancouver winefest: Ontario Pinot Noir

This session at the Vancouver wine festival focused on Pinot Noir from Ontario. ‘It’s a difficult place to grow Pinot,’ says John Szabo, who led the session. ‘There are realities to growing Pinot Noir. It is expensive to grow and it doesn’t always work out well.’ Altogether there are 17 000 acres of vines in Ontario, [...]

What’s the Difference Between Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Shiraz?

So you’re browsing the wine aisle at your favorite store, you have a pretty good handle on what a Cabernet Sauvignon is, and what a Pinot Noir is, but there’s always a group of red wines you’ve never quite gotten… Continue reading ?

Wines of The Times: Sonoma County Pinot Noirs Blur the Boundary Lines

The pinot noirs from this unwieldy appellation can be quite good, but consumers may need to guess whether the wines truly come from near the Pacific.

New Zealand Pinot Noir: some favourites from Central Otago and Waitaki

Continuing my round up of top Pinot Noirs from the recent New Zealand trip, here are some favourites from Central Otago, with a couple from North Otago’s Waitaki thrown in too. I’ve been coming to Central Otago regularly since 2010, and there’s been a steady evolution. This is unsurprising: after all, the first commercial wine [...]

New Zealand Pinot Noir: top examples from North Canterbury and Martinborough

Continuing with my trawl through the exciting New Zealand Pinot scene, here are some of my favourite wines from North Canterbury (which includes Waipara, Waikiri and the Cheviot Hills) and Wellington Wine Country (the new name for the Wairarapa regions, which include Martinborough, Gladstone and Masterton). Not all wines are rated here, and there are [...]

'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' goes full 'Lemonade' in Season 3 teaser

Titus Andromedon has swapped his Pinot Noir for some Lemonade.         

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 3 Teaser: Titus Goes Full Lemonade, and No Car Window Is Safe

Pinot Noir”? So ov-ar. Titus Andromedon’s new beverage of choice is lemonade. Netflix has released its first teaser for season three of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which features the show’s inevitable Beyoncé homage, complete with a ruffled yellow dress, though this one has the texture of a cheap piñata. It seems ... More »

New Zealand Pinot Noir: some top examples from Marlborough

I’ve tasted a lot of New Zealand Pinot Noir over recent weeks. Here are some of my favourite picks from Marlborough. This is New Zealand’s largest wine region, and it has more Pinot Noir (2400 hectares) than any other region (Central Otago is second with 1500 hectares). The best sites are in the Southern Valleys [...]

Review: 2013 Craggy Range Pinot Noir Te Muna Road Vineyard

This Kiwi pinot offers an austerity that brings with it notes of roasted meats and leather, cut through with strong notes of tea leaf and cassis. While big and powerful on thee body, the finish takes a turn for the… Continue reading...

Pinot Noir: the alchemy of people, place and time

This is a written version of a talk I’m giving today at the Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir celebration. Pinot Noir is the grape variety that seems to inspire the most devotion in wine lovers. Finding great Pinot is a lifetime quest, filled with challenges and disappointments. But the highs make this quest worthwhile, and there is [...]

Odious Blocks Is The Adults-Only Jenga You've Been Waiting For

Imagine if the rules of Jenga were also mixed with Truth or Dare (and then mix that with a little bit of your favorite pinot noir). [ more › ]

Vinography Gone Fishin'

All work and no play makes Alder a dull boy. I've just spent the last couple of weeks immersing myself in New Zealand Pinot Noir. But before I head back to the U.S. to write it up and put out all the fires that have gotten started at...Show More Summary

What is greatness in a wine?

What is greatness in a wine? This was the subject of a session at the Pinot Noir symposium, where we were encouraged to discuss this question among ourselves. These are some of my thoughts. We’re entering the realm of aesthetics here. Greatness is not simply one person’s preference. Nor is greatness the notion that a simple [...]

Pinot Noir 2017: the International Pinot Noir Tasting

This was the headline International Pinot Noir tasting at Pinot Noir 2017 in Wellington. In this session, rather than focus on New Zealand, it was time for the panellists to look further afield. Each of the four chose two wines that they felt represented greatness in Pinot Noir, and then explained their own views on [...]

Pinot Palooza: a great consumer Pinot event in Wellington

Yesterday afternoon I popped into Pinot Palooza, a consumer Pinot Noir event that hails from Australia but which has been transplanted to New Zealand for the day before the Pinot 2017 event in Wellington. 117 producers from all over New Zealand were present, and it had a great vibe. I wandered around chatting to people [...]

Review: Robert Mondavi 2014 Pinot Noir, 2013 Merlot, and 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

Today, a trio of new releases from Robert Mondavi’s entry-level “Napa Valley” line. 2014 Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir Napa Valley Carneros – Smells fine — light but heavy with notes of tea leaf and cherries, classic pinot stuff — and… Continue reading ?

Views of New Zealand Wine Country: Episode 2

Hello from the bottom of the world. I'm still wandering around New Zealand and soaking in all the beauty (not to mention Pinot Noir and Riesling). Here are some of the very nice things I've seen in the past couple of days. Amazing clouds over Bell Hill Vineyards in the Weka Pass area of Waipara. Limestone for Pinot? I got yer limestone right HERE. Show More Summary

The Marlborough Pinot Noir Safari

The Pinot Noir Safari. It’s the second time this has taken place. Various winegrowers take international guests through the back-country and off-road routes, taking in some special vineyards across the Marlborough region. We make several stops, where they explain what it is that makes each vineyard important, and we get to taste some Pinot Noir [...]

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