Evaluating Pinot Noirs


Blogger Michelle Ton recently wrote about her quest to find wines that she loves. She happened upon the Cloudline Pinot Noir at Eddie Merlot’s recently, and wrote that it has become one of her favorites. Her blog post is below. Please note that the price point is for retail purchase and not what we charge for that particular wine in our restaurant.

I asked Tim Tribbett of Eddie Merlot’s if we do indeed stock the Cloudline Pinot Noir, and we do at three locations: Cincinnati, Columbus and Indianapolis all carry Cloudline Pinot Noir on the by the glass list, which is a great way to experience new wines.  Bottles are also available. Trib, as we call him, notes that the Cloudline is not available in Fort Wayne, but guests might enjoy Erath Vineyards Pinot Noir or Bogle Pinot Noir as an alternative.  “They are very nice Pinots and similarly priced,” Trib tells us.

Cloudline Pinot Noir

Interestingly, all of these wines hail from Oregon, which is a well-known region for raising Pinot Noir wines. In fact, the International Pinot Noir Celebration will be held in McMinnsville, Oregon, in July 2011. There are some 200 wineries in the Willamette Valley alone. The region first gained attention as a wine-growing area in 1979 when the late David Lett entered his Oregon Pinot noir in the 1979 Gault-Millau French Wine Olympiades and won top Pinot Noir honors against France’s best labels.  According to www.oregonwine.org, the region is widely respected for wines made from grapes that thrive in cool climates. “Today, (the Willamette Valley) is recognized as one of the premier wine producing areas in the world. It is most widely known for its award winning Pinot Noir, but consistently earns top honors for other such cool-climate varieties as Pinot Gris, Dijon clone Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc,” the web site says.

Listen to this description of the climate – also from www.oregonwines.org – and you’ll see why the region is so well-respected today:

“The Willamette Valley is relatively mild throughout the year, with cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers. While moisture is abundant, most of the rainfall occurs in the winter, not during growing season. This temperate climate, combined with coastal marine influences, make the gentle growing conditions within the Valley ideal for cool climate grapes, including Pinot Noir. The Valley enjoys more daylight hours during the growing season than in any other area of the state. During this longer growing season, the Willamette Valley enjoys warm days and cool nights, a diurnal temperature swing that allows the wine grapes to develop their flavor and complexity while retaining their natural acidity.”

Michelle, thanks for dropping by, and we welcome you to come back and try more wines by the glass or bottle. We have an extensive wine list, and we welcome culinary explorers of all stripes.


About editor

An upscale restaurant group with locations in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio.
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