Thursday, August 6, 2009
2006 Styring Vineyards Premier Estate Pinot Noir
That certainly is quite an erotic advertisement for a wine, one that will undoubtedly stir your emotions in one manner or another. Kelley Styring, co-owner of Styring Vineyards with her husband Steve, stated "The video was inspired by my own passion for pinot noir and my yearning to express its sensuality in a way that would be understood, by evoking emotions visually. It's intended to be an exaggerated experience,..."
The title of the video, Passion of Pinot, certainly appealed to me. It does deliver on its title, presenting quite a passionate scene. It may offend some but then such people were probably not the intended audience anyways.
But is the Pinot Noir from Styring Vineyards any good? Or is it a matter of style over substance, an enticing video that tries to make up for flaws in the wine? I recently had the opportunity to taste one of their wines, a sample they sent to me, so I can try to provide some answer.
Styring Vineyards was established in 2003 on 40 acres in the Ribbon Ridge AVA, in the upper Willamette Valley, Oregon. Their objective is to "produce small lots of hand-crafted Pinot Noir and Riesling with an authenticity you can taste." Steve Styring is the wine maker and seeks to make artisan wines. Pinot Noir is their passion while Riesling is more a whimsy.
The 2006 Styring Vineyards Premier Estate Pinot Noir ($45) was sourced from the first five acres planted on the Ribbon Ridge Estate in 2003. It is good to know that the winery practices sustainable farming. The wine is aged for up to two years in French oak and only 60 cases of the wine were produced. This is definitely a low production wine and comparable in price to many other similar Oregon Pinots.
The wine is a moderate red in color, though tending towards the lighter end, and reminded me upfront of many Burgundies rather than the dark red of some California Pinots. The nose of the wine was very enticing, subtle spicy notes along with dark berry smells. When I sipped the wine, I was very pleased with the complex transformation of the wine. It began with juicy fruit flavors of black cherry, plum and raspberry though it was far from a fruit bomb. The fruit flavors were more restrained though evident. The fruit then transformed to a more spicy and earthier finish, seamlessly melding together through my mouth. The finish was lengthy and satisfying, the tannins moderate and in control. The wine reminded me some of a Burgundy though it possessed its own unique character.
I thoroughly enjoyed this wine, savoring its complexity and excellent taste. I drank the wine with a dinner of teriyaki chicken and I think it went very well together. The wine did not overpower the chicken, and the teriyaki did not overpower the wine. The sweetness of the teriyaki actually seemed to go well with the spice and earthiness finish of the Pinot.
I definitely recommend this wine to anyone who loves Pinot Noir. And I can now answer that the video is not a matter of style over substance. Styring Vineyards has at least one excellent Pinot Noir, and I suspect their other wines may also be very good.