Friday 3 December 2010

November Acquisitions - Part IV

This is one of the last Pinot Noirs from Le Vieux Pin, released only recently alongside the larger non-reserve 2008 bottling titled “Adieu”, officially their last bottling of Pinot Noir. It remains to be seen if a 2008 Reserve is resting in the cellars for release next year, but if 2007 marks the end of a (albeit short) era for Le Vieux Pin they have certainly gone out on a high note. Based on a strong recommendation from the staff at Taylorwood Wines I purchased this wine for my 2008 collection after reading a very positive review from John Schreiner; I particularly liked his description of the palate as being “almost as rich as a dark fruitcake.” Le Vieux Pin cropped the vines for this wine to a ridiculously low 1.4 tons per acre and released fewer than 300 cases, hence the $45 price tag – more than many Meritage blends in fact (still less than Foxtrot’s $55 Lt. Governor’s Award-winning Pinot Noir however). Still, if the early reviews are correct I think this wine will have excellent aging potential and will be a valuable addition to my collection; I may even taste it alongside Quails’ Gate’s 2007 Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noir in a few years to see how two $45 Pinots stack up.

Perhaps one word sums up Poplar Grove’s approach to winemaking and that is “patience”. This merlot-heavy blend is a particularly good example of this approach, as after spending two years in oak the good people at Poplar Grove held it for a further 18 months in bottle to ensure it is fully approachable upon release. Considering it was released at the same time Mission Hill was taking the wraps of their 2007 red blends you can see how patient Poplar Grove is willing to be for our benefit. Bottle aging is expensive: with cellar space at a premium many wineries are hesitant to hold their product for long after bottling. Plus, it must be nerve-wracking to stare at thousands of bottles of $50 wine that you are NOT selling yet for months on end: who knows what calamity could befall that wine while it waits, everything from fires to mudslides can wipe out a year’s worth of product – and profit. Suffice to say, Poplar Grove must be very pleased this wine is now in stores, and receiving many positive reviews from the likes of John Schreiner, the often conservative Anthony Gismondi, and the fine gentlemen at Icon Wines. Although I’m certain The Legacy is excellent right now, mine is awaiting consumption in 2013 alongside an equally well-received Poplar Grove 2006 Cabernet Franc; I look forward to it!

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