News items from the home of Pinot NOW and from the wider world of Pinot.
Also, links to articles we find interesting and informative. We hope that they might appeal to you too.
Pinot NOW and Luv-a-Duck
Posted May 2018
Is Duck and Pinot the perfect match?
We think so, in fact, Pinot Now has been working with Luv-a-Duck for more than four years. Luv-a-Duck run regular hands on cooking classes out of their showroom in Port Melbourne. At the end of the cook, the participants sit down to their duck based creations, and sip on four well matched pinot noirs from around the world, with expert commentary from the pinot man himself - Steven Naughton. What a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon, or weeknight evening!
If the thought of spending four hours with like-minded people, mastering the challenges of cooking duck, and tasting and learning about delicious pinot noir from around the world appeals, for more details and to make a booking, contact Luv-a-Duck.com.au.
Pinot NOW at MFWF
Posted April 2018
Pinot NOW was delighted to be invited to participate in the annual Melbourne Food and Wine Festival last month.
The event, Victoria and the World Tasting Room, held on March 24th was a huge success. The two sessions sold out long before the date rolled around.
A large selection of Victorian wine and artisan cheeses were pitted against a strong US contingent of similar cheese and wines. The idea was to stroll around the dozen or so cheese stands, sampling along the way and learning all about cheese styles and production from the local and overseas makers and producers present. There were also at least a dozen wineries from Victoria and USA represented, with many winemakers on site to provide insight into their wine styles and production.
We found many of the public were not familiar with American wine, and were eager to taste and learn. We also met others who knew of our wines and enjoyed tasting with us and hearing of the stories behind the wines and the winemakers.
The result was a great education in the similarities and differences between the styles of the two countries in the production of wine and cheese.
Have you had a bottle of Carrick Pinot Noir lately? Carrick is one of Central Otago's premium pinot noir producers, yet they fly under the radar somewhat.
Carrick, among the pioneers of the Central Otago wine region, was established in 1993 by Steve Green and Barbara Robertson Green, planting pinot noir where wild flowers and thyme once grew. Their extensive research, undertaken all of those years ago, for the perfect site has been rewarded, as Pinot Noir flourishes in the estate vineyards situated on the sunny north facing Cairnmuir Terraces of Bannockburn, producing wine with an intensity and vibrancy reflective of the region.
GM Francis Hutt, winemaker at Carrick since 2011, has applied his knowledge of organic and biodynamic principals to the wine programme, with some excellent results. Carrick has long been a champion of organic grape management, earning full organic certification in 2011. The years of groundwork and dedication to vine and soil health using methods such as composting and cover crop planting to produce healthy, balanced vines and ultimately, exceptional wines has paid off. They were rewarded for their efforts at the Organic Wine Show of 2013, with their 'Bannockburn' Pinot Noir 2011 taking out the trophy for best red and best overall wine of the show. Max Allen, Chief Judge, was quoted as stating 'it was far and away the standout wine of the show'.
The 2013 Bannockburn Pinot Noir caught the attention of Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, being awarded 91+ points in December 2014. "Medium deep ruby purple coloured, the 2013 Bannockburn Pinot Noir has a lovely perfume of rose hips and violets with meaty nuances over a good core of red and black cherries plus a waft of cedar. Medium bodied and just a little woody at this youthful stage. It offers a great core of red berry flavours and a long satiny finish." Now, after a further two years of bottle age to allow the wine to settle and blossom, this Pinot is singing!
The 2014 Carrick Bannockburn Pinot Noir follows on from the excellent 2013 vintage with concentrated fruit characters, excellent body and a long lingering silky finish. Bob Campbell MW reviewed this wine in the June/July 2017 edition of Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine - "This is the style of Carrick I remember from old and is certainly their best pinot noir I’ve tasted in a while. Lush, ripe wine with plum and spice flavours and a seductively silken texture. Delicious now. - 95 points."
Posted February 2017Published February 9th, 2017 Authored by Frank Wilden
"In the year 2000, Steve Naughton founded Pinot Now, dedicating his enterprise to bringing you the best pinots he could get his hands on. The great wines of Burgundy were already mostly spoken for (at very high prices) so his initial focus was on North America. He has since expanded to great pinots from France, New Zealand and Australia. The Pinot Now label on the back of a bottle can improve your odds when playing the chancy and expensive game of pinot roulette."
The difference in how the 2016 vintage is perceived in the Pacific Northwest depends on whether you grow Cabernet, as many do in Washington, or Pinot Noir, the signature grape of Oregon. The temperature tale of 2016 is very similar in both places. On June 1, Oregon's Willamette Valley looked like it was headed for its hottest year on record, right on the heels of its two prior hottest years. The "degree days," a measure of heat accumulation, were 27 percent higher than in 2015. Everyone was bracing for Pinot Noir that tastes like grape jam. But then, Mother Nature backed off.
Good news for fans of more-traditional Oregon Pinot Noir is that not all degree days are equal. Because 2016 was warm early and cooler late, alcohol levels should not reach the 15 percent mark that many wineries hit last year.
"(2016 is) the earliest ever, for all of the parameters, for bud break, bloom, harvest. We began earlier than we've ever done before," Chehalem founder Harry Peterson-Nedry told Wine-Searcher. Read the Article here
PODCAST: Second generation leads Oregon’s Elk Cove Vineyards
As a kid, Adam Campbell thought his parents’ friends were kind of crazy. Campbell’s parents, Joe and Pat, moved from the Hood River area to Gaston in 1974 to plant wine grapes and quickly became friends with folks like David Lett, Dick Ponzi, Dick Erath and David Adelsheim.
“They’d get together and drink wines from around the world, get inspired, passionately debate and talk about how to make this thing happen in Oregon,” Campbell recalled. “My brothers and sisters and I would sometimes get tired of our parents talking about Pinot Noir all the time.”
Yet those conversations and his parents’ work ethic impressed upon Campbell that he should follow in their footsteps, first as a grape grower and finally as a winemaker. For the past two decades, Campbell has helped run Elk Cove Vineyards, the winery his parents started early in the history of the modern Oregon wine industry.
Andy Perdue recently caught up with Campbell and sat down to talk about Elk Cove and the philosophy he brings to viticulture and winemaking. Here’s the interview
Merriam-Webster defines “pioneer” as 1: a person who is one of the first to settle in an area, and 2: a person who begins or helps develop something new and prepares the way for others to follow. This definition fits David Adelsheim, co-founder of Adelsheim Winery, to a T.
In 1971, when just a few hardy farmers where trying to figure out what grapes to grow in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Ginny and David Adelsheim looked out over an open field of orange and purple wildflowers and dreamed of one day planting a vineyard in the area.
Cost: $95 per person, includes Champagne tasting, light food and matched desserts.
Experience the newest Champagne house, Brimoncourt, alongside some of Pierrick Boyer’s dessert creations. Hugues Villemain from Champagne Brimoncourt will showcase the four cuvées from the range in a lavish setting accompanied by tasty morsels. The final cuvée of the evening will see you indulging in Pierrick’s dessert bar with a perfectly paired Champagne to finish. A must for champagne and dessert lovers!
Bookings and enquiries: Call RACV Club restaurant reservations on 03 9944 8200 or 03 9944 8204 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Oregon Pinot Now!
Posted May 2016Published in The Real Review, Wine News - April 28, 2016 by Huon Hooke
Steve Naughton runs an importing company called Pinot Now which specialises in American Wines. He recently hosted a group of visiting winemakers from Oregon, including Dave Paige from Adelsheim, Harry Peterson-Nedry from Chehalem and Melissa Burr (pictured) from Stoller Family Estate. Apart from their own wines, there were many others including Rex Hill, Evesham Wood, Ponzi, A to Z Wineworks, Cristom and Elk Cove. I was impressed and more than a little surprised by how good the wines were - and I don't mean that in a condescending way.
I recently tasted the new releases from Champagne Brimoncourt, a small house founded as recently as 2008. These are particularly vinous Champagnes, crafted to deliver perfume, purity, texture and minerality. They’re made and packaged in a very contemporary style, but one that is entirely respectful of the history of Champagne. I count myself as a convert – these reflect the style and translucency of many of the white wines I enjoy, and each reveals surprising layers of depth and complexity.
Thanks to a fearless band of visionary winemakers, the state of Oregon, in America’s northwest, now produces ethereal, savoury pinot noir of world-class quality. Notoriously one of the world’s most fickle varieties, winemakers persevere with pinot noir because when made well and to critical acclaim, it’s the equivalent of graduating from the Secret School of Talented Winemakers. But in order to give themselves the best possible chance of making pinot noir well, winemakers need to position themselves in a place where it sings rather than sulks.