#88, The True Color of Pinot

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					#88 The True Color of Pinot Staete Landt Vineyards, Marlborough Pinot Noir, 2006; $34 Marlborough, New Zealand Grape: Pinot Noir 14% ABV 800 cases imported It’s really incredible what’s happened to Pinot Noir since the movie Sideways. A lot of winemakers have taken to pumping up their Pinot with a shot of Petit Sirah, an inky-black grape that makes this light red appear much darker—more appealing to macho red wine lovers. It’s as if Pinot Noir is secretly trying to become Syrah, or even Cabernet. This wine, however, is pure Pinot—light red in color and just plain pretty. It’s great to see a Pinot Noir that isn’t ashamed to be itself. I still think Central Otago is the area for Pinot Noir in New Zealand, but this wine proves that Marlborough may also have huge potential. It’s a great wine from a single vineyard of just 17 acres. On the nose, this wine has subtle peppered strawberry aromas. Next comes the smell of a huge red rubber band, like the one you could shoot clear across the classroom. It’s almost the smell of the pink rubber bouncer ball that you could rocket over the rooftop on a good bounce, something a little bit plasticesque. But, what I really love about this wine is the tremendous polish—not just the polish that I feel on my palate—I literally get a whiff of walking through Grand Central Terminal, bustling past the guys perched in their chairs, getting a shine while waiting for their

train. From the first sip, there are a lot of strawberry flavors and also really pretty herbal nuances to this Pinot, with a tea-esque component. The tannins are good and firm for a Pinot. They show clear-cut backbone and that makes me believe this wine will be at its best four to seven years from now. Interestingly, something about this wine just makes me want to eat pig snout! Seriously. This is clearly a New World Pinot, but I have to love it for being true to its roots. The overall explosion of fruit, sheer vibrancy, and youthfulness lean toward Oregon even more than California. There is clearly a little too much of a sweet fruit, yum-yum factor to be considered Old World. However, the genuine elegance and Burgundian quality to the mouthfeel make this a truly exceptional wine in a world of Pinot pretenders. wine country Staete Landt was the first European name given to New Zealand by Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1642. Modern-day New Zealand includes ten important wine-producing regions, including Marlborough, Gisborne, and Central Otago, which boasts the world’s most southerly Chardonnay grapes.

Description: Wine #88 from 101 Wines Guaranteed to Inspire, Delight, and Bring Thunder to Your World, by Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary Vaynerchuk Gary Vaynerchuk Director of Operations & Host of WLTV
About Gary Vaynerchuk, self-trained wine expert, is revolutionizing the wine industry. His blog, Wine Library TV (affectionately known as The Thunder Show), boasts a cult-like following resulting from his enthusiastic, unconventional, and often irreverent wine commentary. In the name of expanding one’s palate, Gary convinced Conan O’Brien to lick salted rocks and shared samples of dirt and grass with Ellen Degeneres. With a wealth of knowledge and an entrepreneurial spirit, Gary rebranded the family business as Wine Library. Within a five year time period, Wine Library grew from a $4 million dollar business to a $45 million business. What raised Gary’s notoriety even more than his business acumen was his foresight. Inspired by sites such as and, Gary leveraged technology to reach an untapped audience. His daily 20 minute webcasts caught the attention of a demographic new to wine and eager to learn. Within a short time, beer sales were outpaced by wine. While his youthful following broke down barriers in the wine industry, the business world (and Web 2.0) admired Gary for creating a new generation of branding, focusing on the internet. Gary’s unique identity as both a wine expert and a real person has reinvented the concept of wine tasting for a new generation. His first book, 101 Wines Guaranteed to Inspire, Delight, and Bring Thunder to Your World, was released in May of 2008 and is available in bookstores nationwide... special preview chapters available on!