What do you do when you’re alone? That may sound like a loaded (or dirty) question, but think about it. What is it that you do when no one else is watching? Me? I practice my violin without abandon; I strum on my guitar like I’m Keith Richards (What? I have a thing for the Rolling Stones…); I sing at the top of my lungs; and I dance because, well, no one is watching. I eat chocolate; I lift weights; I pour an extra glass; I run an extra mile. What do you do when you are on your own?
So it is with Foursight Wines 2014 Clone 05 Pinot Noir: A single clone, left on its own — to make music without abandon, singing of time and place in its own, single, solitary way. What does a single clone do when its all on its own…?
There are several different Pinot Noir clones. In fact, when it comes to Pinot Noir, a study in clones is essential. Many winemakers, as Foursight does, grow and blend multiple clones together to give resulting wines a better balance and sense of “terroir.” However, there are some clones that, unlike my violin playing or singing, are strong enough to play a solo act.
So how does a single Pommard 05 clone from Anderson Valley express itself…?
About the Wine: The Foursight Wines 2014 Clone 05 Pinot Noir is made from 100% Pommard 05 clone Pinot Noir grapes, harvested from the Foursight estate vineyard in Anderson Valley, California. The grapes were hand harvested, hand sorted, then fermented with 20% whole cluster inclusion. Again, the punchdowns were conducted by hand, and resulting juices went through secondary fermentation with all native yeast and ML strains. The wine aged in French oak barrels (60% new) then bottled — unflitered and unfined.
Flavor Profile: Out of the bottle wafts the faintest scent of blueberries — as if smelling them while engulfed in a seaside fog or cloud. Indeed, the aroma itself is somewhat “fluffy.” On the pour and into the glass, the Foursight Wines 2014 Clone 05 Pinot Noir is such a light red (I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Pinot this light before!), one may even call it a dark pink. Once in the glass the aromas open up to include raspberry, cherry, hints of unsweetened cocoa, and eucalyptus, all tied together with a strong line of acidity. Swirl, and this single clone Pinot release more of that acidity elevating to the brightness of the fruits. Add to the aromatic bouquet the perfume of fresh red roses as they grow in a garden along the seaside — indeed, there is a bit of wet sand minerality. Pull away from the glass for one last whiff, and find the wine’s dark secret — the scent of soft suede.
On the palate, the Foursight Wines 2014 Clone 05 Pinot Noir is soft, clean, smooth. The acid delicately touches the tongue about half way through, while the tannins are almost negligible — but they are there, giving the wine its salmon-soft texture and its light to medium body. Primary flavors are of cedar wood, strawberry, marionberry, eucalyptus, and just the slightest hints of vegetation and smoke. The finish is reminiscent of biting into a strawberry straight off the bush, with a lingering tingle and warmth that delicately encompasses the mouth.
Food Pairing: The first night I enjoyed the Foursight Wines 2014 Clone 05 Pinot Noir, I paired it with a grilled veal tenderloin and a blueberry and fig salad, tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette and sprinkled with fresh gouda cheese. This was a great pairing. The balsamic complimented the acidity in the wine while simultaneously adding a bit of sweetness. The blueberries and figs, surprisingly, brought out the vegetative notes in the wine, while the meat (of course) highlighted that subtle smoke in the background. One note: If pairing this wine with a salad, do not use any bitter greens (like spinach, arugula, or even radicchio). Instead, stick to soft butter lettuce or field greens.
The second night I enjoyed the Foursight Wines 2014 Clone 05 Pinot Noir I paired it with my take on spaghetti and meatballs, which includes meatless meatballs and a tofu-based “spaghetti.” The noodles were tossed with roasted red tomatoes, sautéed garlic, fresh green onions and olive oil. Served in a bowl, the whole thing was then topped with (a generous portion of) parmesan cheese. The light body and refreshing acidity perfectly cut through the rather boisterous flavors of the garlic and onion. The meatballs, with their slight spices actually created a rounder, firmer texture in the wine. And, of course, the tomatoes brought forward the fruit notes in the Pinot Noir. Another delicious pairing.
Personal note: On both occasions I dined alone. Sometimes we can be our own best company.
More Info: I received the Foursight Wines 2014 Clone 05 Pinot Noir as a sample for review. (Cheers Kristy!) Retail: $52. For more information about Foursight Wines and to purchase wines directly, please visit the Foursight Wines website.
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