Wednesday, October 8, 2008

WBW #50: 2006 Turtle Creek Pinot Noir

Today is Wine Blogging Wednesday #50 and Russ of Winehiker Witiculture was this month's host. He chose a theme, Which Wine, Which Wilderness, that touches on the focus of his own wine blog. You had to imagine that you and your significant other were seeking one final outing before winter arrives, an outdoor picnic enjoying a fine autumn day. Which wine would you bring with you for this picnic? What would be fitting for the season and the ambiance of the wilderness?

In New England in autumn, there are many potential areas to go to picnic and enjoy the fall foliage. One option would be for me to head north from Massachusetts and visit New Hampshire, taking a drive up the Kancamagus Highway (aka Route 112), a lengthy road that passes through the White Mountain National Forest. In that forest, one of the first significant locales is the Covered Bridge Campground, where you can hike the 2 1/2 mile Boulder Loop Trail and view the Swift River and Mount Chocorua.

As the theme for WBW was announced only a short time ago, I did not have the available time to actually make this journey. But the wine I would have brought, and which I had this weekend, was the 2006 Turtle Creek Pinot Noir ($19.99). I shared the wine with family and friends at an outside BBQ and birthday party, in the brisk autumn air.

Turtle Creek Winery is located in Lincoln, Massachusetts and I consider it the best local winery in Massachusetts. They produce less than 1000 cases of wine per year and the production of any specific wine is often less than 100 cases. They purchase some grapes from California and New York, as well as growing some of their own. Turtle Creek produces high quality wine but at a very reasonable price, usually less than $20 per bottle. And these wines are easily worth twice the price, if not more.

The 2006 Turtle Creek Pinot Noir is more of a Burgundian style wine. It has an enticing nose of dark red fruit and a bit of spice. On the palate, you get an incredibly smooth wine, with plenty of intriguing black cherry, raspberry and even some plum flavors, touched by a bit of fall spices. It is well balanced, has some decent complexity and a very nice finish. It does not seem like a typical California Pinot. And my friends and family loved this wine. This wine can be difficult to find, even in Massachusetts, but it is well worth seeking out. It is worth seeking out all of their wines.

I think it makes a nice autumn selection as it is not too heavy, has some spice notes that remind me of the season, and is such a smooth, easy-drinking wine. It is a pleasurable drink that will help take off that bit of chill in the air.

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