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Pinot Noir Wine Club

Pinot Club - September

This month, we return to the Willamette Valley in Oregon to try the 2008 Iota Pinot Noir, Pelos Sandberg Vineyard, a LIVE-certified, Eola-Amity Hills AVA single vineyard Pinot that was rated "outstanding" by Burghound.

Iota is a relatively new winery (this is only their third vintage), and is partly owned by Montclair residents.  Prior to releasing their own wines, they had been supplying fruit to top quality Willamette producers like Bergstrom and Beaux Frères.

Family run from source to bottle using only estate-grown grapes and sustainable farming practices, Iota is hand-crafted with minimal intervention in the winemaking process for a total production of less than 350 cases.

This special cuvée is comprised of four clones from six estate blocks: "Pappou" & "Yiayia," planted to Pommard, "Abino Hill" planted to Wädenswil, "Ana" & "Tonka" planted to Dijon 777 and "Oscar" planted to Dijon 667. Each of these blocks has a unique soil makeup and exposure.
Fruit, acid and tannins at play in perfect harmony.

Bottled unfined and unfiltered, it was aged for ten months in three year air-dried French oak barrels, 50% new - 330 cases produced.

Alluring scents of fresh strawberries, cherries and plums greet the senses with notes of black pepper, cardamom and barrel toast. An underlying tinge of dried rose petal and earth accentuate a silky mid-palate framed by silty tannins and a vibrant acidity. The finish is smooth and mouthwatering.

The '08 iOTA Pinot Noir exhibits a dark, plummy hue. A cornucopia of berries and ripe cherries initially envelope one's nose with notes of sweet vanillin, chocolate, subtle smoke and spice. Upon consumption, the rich and multi-layered midpalate unfolds, revealing hints of mineral, soil and dusty rose petal as the smooth, mouth-coating finish beckons one to try yet another sip.

Aerate in your glass and serve at room temperature to fully enjoy its true essence.A complex and impressively layered nose offers up a variety of aromas that include very fresh red berry and plum, sandalwood, spice, briar and a touch of crushed herb that transfers over to the delicious, serious and attractively textured medium-bodied flavors that culminate in a mouth coating and mildly austere finish where a hint of youthful asperity can also be seen. This restrained and even understated effort needs a few years of cellar time to emerge from its shell. Lovely.

Reviews:  Tanzer's IWC 90 Pts - Winemakers Notes - The '08 Iota Pinot Noir exhibits a dark, plummy hue. A cornucopia of berries and ripe cherries initially envelope one's nose with notes of sweet vanillin, chocolate, subtle smoke and spice. Upon consumption, the rich and multi-layered midpalate unfolds, revealing hints of mineral, soil and dusty rose petal as the smooth, mouth-coating finish beckons one to try yet another sip.  Deep red. Black raspberry and cherry on the nose, with complicating notes of sassafras, black tea and anise. A sexy floral nuance comes up with aeration and carries onto the palate, which features dark berry and cherry-cola flavors and good mineral spine. Finishes on a gently tannic note, with very good length, solid grip and lingering spiciness.

According to Parker's Wine Advocate - The 2008 Pinot Noir Pelos Sandberg Vineyard was bottled without fining or filtration. Medium ruby red with an enticing nose of cedar, spice box, cherry blossom, underbrush/earth notes, and raspberry, on the palate it is layered, intense, densely packed, and structured.
 

According to Wine Spectator - Light and silky, with raspberry and peppermint flavors that ride easily over the fine tannins, finishing with zestiness. Rated 90+

 

RECIPE - Grilled Lamb Chops Scottaditi - Serves 6-8

Scottaditi is an Italian word that roughly translates to "burn your fingers," meaning these chops look so good that you cannot resist picking them up the moment they come off the grill. You can prepare the chops on the grill or you can broil them. And take your pick from the mushroom family: pom-poms, preferably, but cremini or button mushrooms will do just fine. Keep in mind that it's best to let your lamb chops sit in the refrigerator for 6 hours after applying the spice rub. You can prepare them immediately after applying the rub, but it is better to let them soak up the spice for a few hours before cooking.

Mushroom Mix:
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
20 whole garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups sweet vermouth
8 rib lamb chops, 1 1/4 inches thick, trim fat salt and pepper (to taste)
8 ounces button mushrooms (or other types if you prefer) sliced 1/8 inch thick
4 mint sprigs, leaves only

Recipe Ingredients for Spice Rub:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup salt
1/4 pepper
1/4 cup rosemary


Cooking Directions

Mix the spice rub together in a large bowl. Sprinkle the chops liberally on both sides (you may save what is left of the spice rub in your refrigerator). Ideally you would let the chops chill in the refrigerator for 6 hours after applying the spice rub.

In an 8 to 10-inch skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté slowly until browned on all sides, shaking the pan to keep them moving, about 10 minutes. Add vermouth and cook at a low boil until the liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup, less than 15 minutes. The garlic should be very soft at this point. Set aside.

Grill or broil chops until medium rare, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a 12-to 14-inch sauté pan over high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté over high heat until brown and soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and vermouth reduction to the mushrooms and stir to coat. Stir in the mint leaves and remove from the heat.

Season the mushroom and garlic mixture with salt, pepper and spoon onto the centers of 4 serving plates. Lean 2 chops against the mushroom mix on each plate. Serve immediately.


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