Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Louis Latour Domaine de Valmoissine Pinot Noir, 2007

I've been buying and enjoying the Valmoissine Pinot Noir since the 2003 vintage, and this 2007 is the best of the lot. When I tried it last winter, it had ripe fruit tannins similar to those of a 2007 Southern Rhone; with a few additional months in the bottle it has taken on the traditional French Pinot traits that I love.

It's medium to light with bright, intense color. The aromas are equally intense and fragrant almost to the point of volatility. It's always tempting to believe this wine is too fragile to last, but that is not true. Bottles of 2004 from my own cellar have displayed this same delicate fragrance for several years, and the Louis Latour web site lists vintages going back to 1997 as being in their prime for drinking. Flavors are focused around ripe red cherry with traditional Pinot Noir earthiness and depth. This wine personifies delicacy and finesse--as a Pinot Noir should.

Louis Latour is a top Burgundy house, but this wine is a Vin de Pays from outside the appellation--from vineyards at 500 meters altitude on the Verdon hillsides. The grapes are entirely hand picked and fermented in open stainless steel vats for four to five days, then aged 10 to 12 months in stainless steel. Valmoissine is ordinarily price at about $14.99 but often discounted to $10 or $12. In my opinion, it is a top value and very fine wine regardless of price.

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