One of my favorite marketing pieces that I remember in the wine biz was created by Oregon’s King Estate Winery about 20 years ago. The winery had hundreds of 6 foot stand-ups of Michelangelo’s Statue of David with a bottle of their Reserve Pinot Noir appropriately placed to cover up David’s junk with the tag line “Pinot Envy” at the bottom. It was brilliant. Of course the BATF didn’t like the idea and months later Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms showed up at King’s offices and confiscated the “filthy and inappropriate” stand-ups. How pathetic. The winery cleverly rebutted by simply removing the image of their bottle of Pinot Noir leaving David exposed for all to see. What could they say? I love it when bureaucratic BS ends up that way:-) I only wish I still had my banned pornoesque stand-up… the winery had to send out letters to all their retailers asking them to remove and destroy the piece. I remember rebelling by framing the letter and hanging it over David’s left hand! Eventually I ended up giving it away to a customer who owned a local flower shop… he covered up David’s laurels with a weekly rotation of various flora.
It has such versatility when it comes to pairing the wine with food. It goes well with anything from salads to salmon to pork to filet to chocolate to pasta to omelets to mushrooms to Thanksgiving Dinner to just kickin’ back at a U2 concert! The young wines can be popped tonight for immediate pleasure or the best producer’s Pinots can be cellared for decades. The tastes and bouquet of Pinot Noir range from lean and racy to bold and explosive – and just about everywhere in between. Without a doubt when I think of Pinot Noir the first region that pops into my mind is Burgundy. For most of wine history this two-mile-wide, thirty-mile-long stretch of hills in France called the Cote d’Or (“Slope of Gold”) is the only region to achieve consistent success from the Pinot Noir vine.
The exceptional quality of Bourgogne is due to a number of factors. Its vineyards slope gently down toward the East, providing the vines with long sun exposure yet avoiding afternoon heat. The soil there is very calcareous (chalky; containing calcium carbonate), offering good drainage. Well-drained soils have a higher average temperature, which assists ripening. Pinot Noir seems to reflect more pronounced Gout de Terroir, or flavor of the soil, than other black grape types, making vineyard site selection a critical factor.
It is my joy and honor to represent so many of Burgundy’s shining stars, from humble overachievers, to marquee royalty. It is indeed rare to find so many of the greatest producers under one roof. I’m proud to have built a portfolio that rivals any fine wine store on planet Earth… right here in Wilmington, Delaware! Being a big fish in a small pond often means we get the top wines from producers around the world. Feel free to personally contact me with any questions or interests about the people, places, and wines of the Cote D’Or.