Pinot Battle Royale : Oregon vs Burgundy

By Abigail

Burgundy may be the homeland of Pinot Noir, but it seems like Oregon, in some opinions,  is paving the way for Pinot Noir’s new home. The only way to really judge who is doing a better job was to compare and contrast the options. Given, we could only try a miniscule amount of wine compared to the options out there, this would be the first of many tastings to come to see if Burgundy still and will always have it, or if Oregon is giving Burgundy a run for its money.

This was a tasting to showcase and compare Burgundy and Oregon, and the way that we decided to do that compared the two in their respective price categories.

Here are the wines:

Category #1 – $40-$50

Burgundy : Roux Pere et Fils Hautes Côtes de Beaune Bourgogne 2015 – $38

This wine was a perfect way to start off the wines for the evening. With a light ruby colour, and subtle aromas and characteristics  of red berries, blossom and mushroom, this wine is a great introduction into Burgundian wines.

Oregon: White Rose Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2015 – $50

This wine turned out to be the favourite of the evening. With a little more life and energy than the Roux Pere et Fils, this wine seemed to go down smoother than the first, according to the tasters this evening. Ripe notes of raspberry, cherry, cranberry with a touch of oak spice, blossom and salt, this is definitely a Pinot to warm you up on those harsh winter nights.

Category #2- $60-$70

Burgundy: Michel Clair et Fils Santenay 1er Cru Clos de Tavannes 2015 – $63

This wine was the one that showed Burgundy’s rustic and earthy side  in this tasting. Damp, burnt firewood with cranberry, raspberry, wet stone and blossom were the main characteristics in this wine, but there seemed to be never ending layers to this wine.

Oregon: Purple Hands Holstein Vineyards Pinot Noir 2015 – $72

Holstein Vineyards is considered to create the best wines in the Purple Hands production. This wine is well balance, with notes of raspberry, cherry, cranberry, blossom, english garden and spice. It was also joint second favourite of the evening, with the next two wines also scoring the same points.

Category #3 – (bit of a jump) $150-$160

Burgundy:  Roux Pere et Fils Vougeot 1er Cru 2015 – $155

Same producer as the first wine of their evening, but definitely a different quality level. This wine was full of complexity, and even though subtle, the characteristics beautifully danced on the palate. Blossom, cranberry, strawberry bush with minerality, flint and mushroom perfectly intertwined to create a elegantly long finish. Also, second favourite of the evening.

Oregon: Antica Terra Ceras Pinot Noir 2015 – $160

What a perfect way to end the evening with this beautifully rich Pinot. This wine was less about those red berries, and more about the minerality the soil had given it. It was full of wet stone, earth a touch of saltiness, but also still had beautiful cranberry and blossom notes too. This wine also changed vastly from the time opened to the tasting, and even the day after, always showing different characteristics. This wine, even though it was the joint second favourite, was probably the most interesting of Pinots this evening.

With the favourites of the evening, it would seem that Oregon had won this tasting. With the chilly weather outside, and the more approachable styles, I would agree with the outcome. But I am also intrigued to see if this is the case when we present Burgundy vs Oregon in a warmer season.

Thank you to Peasant Cheese for supply such a beautiful cheese and charcuterie boards for our tasting this evening!

- Abi
Twitter: @babiller_de_vin
Instagram: @abigailjsayer

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