We can’t talk about the Pinot Noir style spectrum without a trip to Oregon, where some of the most refined, Burgundian Pinot Noirs are created — most notably from the Willamette Valley. Coincidentally, this part of our country shares the same latitude as some of France’s most prestigious winemaking regions. And so it is that Left Coast Cellars has named their most notable Pinot Noir vineyard Lattitude 45°.
About the Wine: Left Coast Cellars Latitude 45° Estate Pinot Noir is made from 100% Dijon clone Pinot Noir grapes harvested from the estate’s Latitude 45° vineyard. It was aged in 100% French oak (75% new; 25% neutral) for 18 months.
Flavor Profile: Out of the bottle, there’s an immediate aroma of very ripe raspberries, strawberry preserves, with an undertone of oak wood. As you pour from bottle to glass, the wine presents a rusty rouge color with tints of purple, and settles into the glass as a soft, penetrable shade of rose-petal red.
Initial aromas are deeper than those gleaned from the bottle — those raspberries and strawberries are a bit fuller, juicier, and are mixed with hints of basil, mint, and an underlining, indecipherable scent of umami. Swirl, and the Pinot Noir releases some oaky-woodiness and dry, almost dusty, soil.
The palate of the Left Coast Cellars Latitude 45° Estate Pinot Noir is dry, immediately dry, with plush but tangible tannins. The initial dominant flavor is of that strawberry preserve, but there is a parallel earthy-dustiness riding alongside that fruit. This red wine is undeniably textural, but make no mistake, it is still quite light in body. Hold the wine in your mouth, swirl it around with your tongue. Other flavors will include raspberry, dried eucalyptus leaf, dried cardamom, and then there’s that umami lying in the background again. (My best guess here is the savory-sweetness of delicately used fish sauce.) There is a light acidic line that maintains it’s subtlety from start to finish, but works to keep the fruits alive, and the overall tastes and textures quite balanced.
This is quite an elevated, delicate Pinot Noir that, despite that delicacy is quite assertive in its nature.
Food Pairing: I paired the Left Coast Cellars Latitude 45° Estate Pinot Noir with a wood-fired pizza. And what I’ll say really stood out about this pairing was the smokiness from the pizza alongside the earthy elements of this wine. I also want to note here that, as the evening progressed the wine opened up to more of a rounder body and plusher, almost jammier fruits.
For this reason, I would highly recommend pairing the Left Coast Cellars Latitude 45° Estate Pinot Noir with a grilled rare filet mignon, a black or blueberry-red wine reduction sauce, and a light herb side salad. That, indeed, would be the perfect pairing. Not that you can’t enjoy it alongside a pizza — I most certainly did.
More Info: I received the Left Coast Cellars Latitude 45° Estate Pinot Noir as a sample for review. (Cheers Will!) Retail: $38. For more information about Left Coast Cellars, their wines, and to purchase wine directly, please visit the Left Coast Cellars website.
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