Sunday, March 11, 2012

All Dressed In White....or perhaps just Naked.

You know when you decide to buy a car but before you make the purchase, the model you have been eying seems to turn up everywhere? That has been my experience lately, only with Blanc de Pinot Noir. I'm not sure how this wine flew below my radar or perhaps it is becoming a "trend." Having recently spoken to a winery who is considering making one, my fear is that it may become trendy. I have a strong dislike for trends in the wine industry but I won't rant about that in this post. Either way, new style or trend, I'm intrigued and on a mission to learn more.

Luckily, for us wine nerds, this isn't another grape variety to memorize on top of the approximate 10,000 already in existence. (Which, by the way, I have all memorized.) It is a style of wine making which takes pinot noir grapes and separates the skins from the juice immediately, similar to how white wine is made...hence, "blanc" de pinot noir. Without the skin contact, the red colour which we know to be pinot noir, does not have time to develop. So...what does it taste like you ask? Well, I had the privilege of sipping one producer so far, the Novy Family Winery out of the Willamette Valley in Oregon.

As I sipped the 2010 Novy Family, Blanc de Pinot Noir, I couldn't quite place my finger on what I was experiencing right away. The wine was very tart, high in acidity, slightly blush in colour and was very subtle in smell and on the palette. After I let the wine warm up a little, I was able to get roses on the palette along with some minerality and citrus fruits. I struggled to find really strong fruit characteristics or structure besides the high acidity. But this is when I realized the wine reminded me of sparkling wines. In particular, champagne. Imagine a fine champagne without the bubbles: tart, subtle but a delight with seafood and salads. And since pinot noir is often used in champagne production, it all made sense. It's pinot without the colour or the's not white, it's just completely naked.

As I move forward with my exploration of other naked pinot noirs, I will be interested to see how they compare to the Novy Family in order to get a better overall understanding for this style of wine. I don't want to make any overarching judgement, but I am curious to taste more. After all, test driving wines are a hell of a lot more fun than test driving cars! ;)

Do you have any recommendations of Blanc de Pinot Noir to try? Let me know!

Charlotte :)


  1. Sounds like an interesting concept.

    Intrigued to hear more :)

    Cheers, T. :)

  2. One of my favorite little wines from my favorite people in the biz in Sonoma!