An “easy” blind tasting turns out to be harder than we expected. Learn more about the real differences between Oregon and Burgundy Pinot Noir.
In this video:
- A taste comparison of the classic Burgundy producer, Joseph Drouhin, alongside their Oregon project, Domaine Drouhin.
- Wines are tasted deductively, without knowing which wine is which.
- Learn what clues to look for when blind tasting Pinot Noir – and which clues mislead you!
- See the big reveal at 6:40.
How To: Deductive Tasting
Deductive tasting is basically one step down from blind tasting. For instance, you know which wines are being tasted, but are missing a few key bits of information to identify them.
In this tasting, I knew the wines that were poured, I just didn’t know which one was which. Deductive tasting is great to level-up your tasting chops without as many unknowns. It’s like training wheels. Try it yourself with the 4-Step Tasting Method.
What I Learned
- Trust Your Schnoz: The aromatic profile ended up being the deciding factor to guess the wines correctly. Next time I blind taste, I’m going to take the aroma observation very seriously.
- Burgundy Winemaking Trick: I observed moderate, herbal-tasting tannin which lead to the conclusion that there was stem inclusion or whole cluster fermentation in both wines. Herbal tannins like these shouldn’t be confused with the taste of terroir.
- Vintages Matter A Lot: The super ripe vintage in Burgundy made the Gevrey-Chambertin much fruitier and sweeter on the palate. So, make sure you look into vintages more when looking for wine!
Domaine Drouhin Oregon (~$40)
Pinot Noir Dundee Hills AVA 2014
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- Pale ruby-garnet. Turbid, with moderate wine tears.
- Smells like sweet cherries, raspberries, cranberries, hibiscus, and rose, with very subtle mushroom notes.
- Tastes very tart with medium-light tannins. Palate has more tart and herbal fruit flavors that are supported by somewhat bitter tannins that I sense in the middle of my tongue. Wine isn’t incredibly long on the palate, but the floral, sweet fruit aromas make it very pleasant to drink!
Joseph Drouhin (~$55)
Pinot Noir Gevrey-Chambertin AOP 2015
- Medium ruby-garnet (darker and more opaque!). Turbid with moderate wine tears.
- Smells savory. Flavors of peony stems, tilled soil, and bergamot, with very subtle notes of vanilla and ripe raspberry.
- Whoa, this wine tastes well-made. On the palate, the wine has very big, bold fruit flavors of raspberry that lead into a tilled soil note and moderately rigid tannins on the sides and middle of my tongue. On the finish, it turns sweeter with subtle notes of clove and sweet, dried red fruits.
Last Word: Who Won?
There was no real winner at the dinner table. I preferred the Burgundy (so typical sommelier-like of me – sheesh!), whereas my S.O. was enraptured with the floral and fruit aromas in the Oregon Pinot Noir. The more we drank, the more the lines blurred.
One thing was for certain: both wines were fantastic with food!