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Michael Scott Select Pinot Noir 2003

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Winemaking is an age-old art, the object of many a fantasy, complete with romantic notions of idling through a vineyard near harvest time in a picturesque setting like Napa Valley, Tuscany, or Bordeaux. For those lacking the time to take a year off from their Normal Lives to join a winery for the experience of making wine, there are plenty of options available to sample some of the pleasures of having one's own private label wine. On Sunday, I sampled such a wine, produced at Wine Crafting, Ohio's first make-your-own wine shop.

The label was Michael Scott Select Pinot Noir 2003, which according to the label, is "Cleveland Aged, Butt Pressed by Professionals." (Who says that wine is only for snobs?) My experience with Pinot Noir has been varied; I did not much enjoy some of the first bottles I tried, in some cases even getting the dreaded headache afterward, but have since enjoyed some delicious bottles of the stuff. I was, at the very least, intrigued by the present bottle.

Bottled in January 2004, this particular wine was a completely unique experience. The varietal was well-matched: we had the wine with a pork dinner. The company was lively. The dinner was tasty. The wine, I am sorry to report, failed to hold up its end of the bargain to make for an evening of note.

While tasting the wine, I struggled to determine what exactly I was tasting; not an adjective could be found. The wine was certainly dry -- extremely so, in fact. After sipping a bit, Niki diplomatically pronounced it young. I concurred, still trying to figure out what in the world I was tasting. I tried to size up its aroma but had little success on that front. Swirl it all about the glass, hoping some air will open it up and produce some flavor. Sniff again. Nada. Get another (half-)glass. Repeat. Our gracious hosts were fortunately more entertained than put off by my ritual.

My conclusion in the end was the same as Niki's at the beginning. This stuff was young, probably way too young to be drunk. Very dry grape juice with some yeast, and something else (oak, if I may infer that from the web site) that I simply could not identify at the time. Even upon reflection, I cannot recall any hint of oak. Lacking in both aroma and flavor (as would be true of any wine drunk too young), I opted for another Pinot Noir table wine after finishing that tasting experience.

Curiously, after all of that, I am intrigued by the idea of making my own, particularly with the intention to give the wine sufficient time to age. I suspect that there might yet be more to this story in the future.

Created by cmcurtin
Last modified 2004-11-15 09:00 AM
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