The Hedonistic Taster | № 2
by L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML
“Wine should not be regarded simply as a beverage, but as an art of living, a pleasure.” – Henri Jayer
Welcome to The Hedonistic Taster, a binNotes | redThread™ review of artisan wines.
The title derives from the term ‘hedonistic tasting,’ coined by revered Burgundian vigneron Henri Jayer.
The Hedonistic Taster allows me the opportunity to introduce you to some gorgeous pours through this intimate tasting format.
L’Autre | Sparkman Cellars
I never pegged Sparkman Cellars for a source of ethereal, Burgundy-style Pinot Noir.
Until I tried L’Autre Pinot Noir.
But I digress. Let’s start at the beginning.
Let’s start with the wine that started it all.
I don’t recall if the vintage was 2014 or 2013. A Riesling. Das Rheingold to some wine lovers with the temerity to contend that Riesling at least equals Pinot Noir in expressiveness.
(Some of you know how fervidly I fall among Burgundy’s altar-biters.)
Anyway, back to Birdie. Thanksgiving 2015 on Red Mountain. Dinner with family and friends, which included a comparative tasting of my sister’s Riesling against some other ‘Brand X’ bottles.
(In full disclosure, Linn Scott has sourced some Riesling for his own private Riesling project from my sister.)
A versatile, prolific and talented artist, Linn Scott’s award-winning wines reflect the unpretentious, utterly charming spirit of Kelly and Chris Sparkman, the winery owners.
Full-throated Bordeaux blends like Stella Mae (named after the Sparkman’s daughter) or Rhone blends like Wilderness (part of sales proceeds help fund the Wilderness Society.)
Wines for meals. Wines for friends. Wine to share.
With the first sip that day, the laughter and conversations around me dimmed to a distant thrum, the only sounds that of my heart at a full-bore bah-bum, bah-bum, and my taste buds whispering “What just happened?!”
Another sip. A tilt of the glass.
Shocking, pristine clarity – that, and a slight, imperceptible spec of gold – taunted from the glass held high, like a chalice. Brought low, the nose lilted with delicate white florals – trillium and iris, and firm stone fruits. And the mouth – a clarion call sans cloying sweetness.
The room’s warm scrum tackled me back to the present.
Birdie. Damn you, Linn Scott.
A wine to hoard. Screw sharing this with anyone.
Wine: L’Autre Pinot Noir
Varietal: Pinot Noir
AVA: Temperance Hill, Eola-Amity Hills | Willamette Valley, OR.
Robe: Translucent ruby
Nose: Red fruit, bramble, earth.
Palate: Red currant, cherry cola, red raspberry.
Vivid acids, lean tannins, elegant finish.
L’Autre means ‘ the other’ or ‘different’ in French. Indeed. Truly ‘other-worldly’ Burgundian in style – low sugars, light body, silky mouth, supple finish. A wine for contemplating with a special someone over a lovely meal. Or hoarding. With your Birdie.
Suggested Pairings: Cherry glazed duck or pheasant, hazelnut-encrusted salmon, kale and cranberry salad.
All wines reviewed here are trade samples provided by the wine maker or his/her PR team.
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