The golden leaves that adorned the birch tree in our backyard now mostly cover the landscaping beneath it creating an undulating, golden carpet. Cool, damp mornings give way to mild afternoons putting me in the mood for red wine and heartier meals to accompany them. Today’s Cellar Note includes three red wines, which we received as tasting samples, and three fall dishes to accompany them.
2014 Résonance Vineyards Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton — translucent ruby in the glass with generous aromas of berry bramble, dried alfalfa and blackberries. Flavors of tart raspberries and just-ripe blackberries combine with hints of cedar spice and mushrooms. Tannins are drying and well integrated with the flavors. The body is on the light side of medium and the finish is medium in length. 13.5% abv. SRP $79.99
By color, aroma and flavor there is no doubt this is Pinot Noir. It has all of the berry bramble and earthiness I love in Pinot Noir. It has ample flavor but is light at the same time. It is easy to sip on its own, perfect to accompany preparation of your meal, and moves perfectly to the dinner table.
Louis Jadot is a Burgundy-based négociant whose winemaking roots in the region date back to 1859. Résonance Vineyard, located in the Yamhill-Carlton sub-AVA of the Willamette Valley in Oregon, is the first vineyard purchase by the respected Burgundy producer outside of their home region. 2013 was the first vintage and esteemed former winemaker at Louis Jadot, Jacques Lardiere, has full responsibility for the project.
Our food pairing for the Résonance Vineyards Pinot Noir was easy and comforting. The most difficult part of making risotto is the patience it takes to stir in the warm stock one ladle at a time. Use your favorite recipe and include sautéed leeks, thyme and an assortment of mushrooms that pleases you. Use the best quality Parmigiano-Reggiano, this wine deserves that.
2012 Michele Chiarlo Tortoniano, Barolo DOCG — light ruby-garnet in the glass with aromas of tobacco, red fruit and spicy cedar. Tart red and dark fruit flavors gain complexity with hints of leather, cedar and smoke. Tannins are drying and persistent in the medium-length finish. The body is medium. 14% abv. SRP $54.99
Barolo must be produced from 100% Nebbiolo. Nebbiolo is a grape variety from northern Italy that can be a challenge in the vineyard. The variety flowers early and ripens late, which means it can struggle to ripen completely in cool vintages. It is relatively light colored, but tannic.
Beginning in 1956 Michele Chiarlo has built a reputation for quality in the vineyard as well as the wine cellar. Michele’s two sons have since joined that effort. Winemaking embraces modern techniques including temperature-controlled fermentation.
I reached for one of my favorite meat sauce recipes for this pairing. The sauce requires an afternoon to simmer slowly, but once assembled there is nothing to do except enjoy the evolving aromas. It is aptly called Sunday Sauce and I served it with spaghetti, but you could use the pasta of your choice. Delicious.
2014 Alta Vista Terroir Selection Malbec, Mendoza — dense ruby in the glass with generous aromas of dark fruit, dried dill and celery salt. Flavors of dark plums, ripe blueberries and dusty earth are followed by cedar and cocoa. Tannins are substantial, drying and persistent in the long, warming finish. Body is medium. 15% abv. SRP $29.99
We have enjoyed quite a few Malbecs this year and I have come to a new appreciation of the variety. Elevation has become an important point of discussion with Malbec – almost to the point of the higher the better. Alta Vista has embraced elevation as well as single-vineyard production.
The Alta Vista Terroir Selection Malbec is sourced from five vineyards in Valle de Uco and Lujan de Cuyo all located above 3200 feet above sea level. All aging is in French oak with equal amounts of new, second use and third-use barrels. The wine ages for a further six months in bottle before release.
We took advantage of this pairing opportunity to indulge our love of grilled lamb chops. On the side we enjoyed roasted mixed vegetables proving it doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious. Nothing is simpler than oven-roasting vegetables and grilling a lamb chop. Super delicious pairing.
There is something for every wine palate here. For those who prefer a lighter red wine look for the Résonance Vineyard Pinot Noir. It you want a relatively light red wine with substantial tannins choose the Barolo. It is delicious now. If you are in the mood for a fuller-bodied red wine with good tannin structure look to the Malbec.
Beyond outstanding quality these wines also have Kobrand Corporation in common, who imports and markets them in the U.S. Thank you for sending these wines our way.