Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tasting De Loach Pinot Noirs

On Thursday night I participated in the #earthdaywine Live Tasting Event with De Loach Vineyards, Bottle Notes and the KloutPerks team.

I hadn’t gotten my wine sampler kit (shown in the picture above) yet, but I watched live as Jean-Charles Boisset described the approach De Loach has taken, their success with organic and sustainable practices and his vision of where Pinot from vineyards in Sonoma county can become.

Alyssa Rapp from Bottle Notes hosted the tasting and had questions for Jean-Charles. They both otherwise helped folks taste through the 6 bottle sampler kit available for the event. During the live tasting folks were tweeting away about their wines and impressions of the tasting. I noted several things that if you watch the taped #earthdaywine video from the session you might also pickup. Here are some of my tweets and related story:

I saw confidence and passion on the part of Jean-Charles.

"he (Jean-Charles) is clearly passionate in his pursuits. never a bad thing. #earthdaywine (live at"

Jean-Charles was talking about bring wine to market in small barrel like dispensing systems for the home and restaurants. I immediately thought of our recent trip to France.

"we saw 10L boxes in France. idea++! RT @mwangbickler: Love the idea of selling wines in barrel. #earthdaywine (live at"

During the chat Jean-Charles mentioned “Little Burgundy”. He was referring to the sampler and how it allowed a taster to survey what Pinot from Sonoma can be. The term “Little Burgundy” is one he uses to describe it. I think this notion is a powerful one to consider. The wine can take you to a place, and not the one it is from, but one it evokes. Pretty heavy stuff!

Bottles Notes used their Daily Sip e-mail newsletter yesterday to recap the event. Check that out at

With my wines coming in after the event, they arrived the next day, I was able to live taste several of them for myself. I have been playing with video blogs a bit. What I came up with is linked below. I am still working out the video production bit. I had a couple of stutters in there with pronunciation or at one point the tannins of one of the wines had my tongue twisting. I need better lighting, but I need a lot of other things too! Otherwise it was a fun way to recap the event and try some of the wines.

Here are my detailed tasting notes from all six of the wines. It really is a great example of breadth from one wine portfolio!

Le Roi

This wine definitely had the most tweets about it amongst all the wines. I found it dry and sleek with wonderful grilled fruit flavors. I picked up cherries easily and a hint of gameyness, something like the aromas of goat cheese perhaps. I could easily recommend this wine to folks of all stripes, including those who don’t drink a lot of red wine. The balance and middling tannins make it a great occasion wine and a food pairing wine with braises and meats cooked in wine!

Masut Valley

There is diversity in this flight and this wine is the proof. Much more spice and earth is found in this one from some of the others. I picked up some root essence within those spices, much like the skin of fresh peeled ginger. The mouth on this wine is full of dark cherries with a dried fruit twist. The tannins are also a little wilder in this wine. I also felt this was the darkest of the six wines.

Van Der Kamp

This is the one I found the wildest aromas and flavors in. It is balanced, a tad high in alcohol, but has fruit, earth, herbs, and some natural funk that is the foundation of many great wines. The tannins in this wine are a little bolder, but don’t overwhelm. Margot tasted this one and remarked at how smooth it was. It reminded both of us of some of the Pinots in Washington/Oregon last year.

The wood aromas come through on this one. I got more tannins, and both wood and grape types during my first sip. It is dry and much more austere than the Van Der Kamp, but not as focused as the Le Roi. I picked up cherries again and something floral, although this time it smells more like wild flowers or greens. There is some pepper and just a hint of pine on the finish.

Sonoma Stage

This wine is one of the lighter ones with light red berries, some cherry and some earthiness expressed in leather. The tannins are again restrained, but present. The fruits also seem slightly cooked, rather than ripe and fresh. Excellent dinner wine and another one for those notorious non-red drinkers!

Green Valley

This is another selection I saw a lot folks talking about. I smelled raspberries and what came across like flowers, maybe rose. This wine has restrained tannins and would be a pairing partner with a wide range of dishes from lightly season steaks, to salmon and some game meats. The acidity in this wine does a good job of cleaning up. With the alcohol at the high end (14-15.5) all of these Pinots leave a little heat on the finish. I actually enjoyed it, much like a fine cognac or bourbon leaves the smolder behind as it exits.

The price point on these wines range from $40-60 per bottle. The performance (taste/price ratio) on these wines is only OK when you factor in the price. Getting the tasting kit gave me many ideas that I would specifically pick up a single bottle to pair with a meal made for it. It isn’t an everyday for me, with the winery in my basement!

I really enjoyed this opportunity and would recommend others check out the sample packs from and the events sponsored by Travel the world, one bottle at a time!



{ I was given a free product or sample because I'm a Klout influencer. I was under no obligation to receive the sample or talk about this company. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or company. }

1 comment:

Michael Wangbickler said...

It was a great tasting. I just wish we had more time for conversation with Jean-Charles. The Le Roi was my favorite.