February 14, 2009

Antica Terra Pinot Noir

I enjoyed tasting two vintages of Antica Terra Pinot Noir last night at Storyteller Wine Co. in Portland, with winemaker Maggie Harrison on hand. Listen here to a recent Graperadio interview with Maggie detailing her history with Manfred and Elaine at SQN and how she came to make wine in Oregon.

First, the 2005 Sine Qua Non "The Petition," which I found extremely white burg like. Huge aroma of well integrated oak, nuts, minerals, and yellow fruit, this showed lots of chardonnay character. In the mouth it was more alcoholic than anything I've ever tried from Burgundy, but still long and well balanced. I've had this before and I liked it even better tonight.

Next came the 2007 Antica Terra Pinot Noir. This wine is not yet released. I was really impressed with the wine's fragrance. Lovely gamy and floral aromas with bright red fruit and clean dirt scents. The flavors followed in line, with little tannin but bright acid that carried the long finish. What a distinctive wine. 2007 was a challenging vintage and this isn't hugely flavorful and powerful. Instead, it's all about grace and, in another's words, seamlessness. Very nice wine.

I found the 2006 Antica Terra Pinot Noir similar in its perfume, with a liveliness that I didn't expect from this warm vintage. The wine is much more dense than the 2007, with strong black cherry fruit and a soft, round texture. I prefer the lighter, more elegant '07, but the familial resemblance of the two wines is remarkable. I'll be paying attention to this producer. You should too.

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