Tasting Notes: Hugues Beauvignac Picpoul de Pinet

Kevin and I were lucky enough to receive a couple of giftcards to Total Wine for our wedding, and we just so happened to come across one a few weeks back. I thought it would be a great opportunity to stock up on some inexpensive, every day wines since our stash of mid-priced wines seemed to be growing due to all the tastings we've done recently. I also wanted to pick up some new whites because we've both been trying to expand our palate. I had heard of Picpoul as being a great summer wine and I came across this bottle in the France section of the store. Since French wines have been my favorite recently, I thought why not?!

The Facts

  • Producer: Hugues de Beauvignac
  • Region: Languedoc-Roussillon region of France
  • Vintage: 2014
  • Variety: Picpoul de Pinet
  • Where I purchased: Total Wine
  • Price: $11.99
  • Eyes: This wine was a pale yellow color with maybe a hint of green. Not sure if my eyes were playing a trick on me based on the bottle color, but it was pretty typical of what I would expect of a light-bodied white that would be refreshing in the summer.
     
  • Nose: This wine smelled great and like summer. Citrus, specifically lime and maybe some grapefruit, and minerals. Picpoul is often compared to Sauvignon Blanc, and while this one had citrus aromas, it was not as potent as a Sauvignon Blanc.
     
  • Mouth: We chilled this wine pretty well, and my first thought was "refreshing". That seems to be the buzzword of the summer, but I'm okay with it! It was light-bodied and the citrus flavors came through as well. Good acidity... not too acidic where it stung or too flabby either.
     
  • Thoughts: We both really enjoyed this wine and thought it paired especially well with our dinner, which was spicy shrimp with sauteed kale and parmesan quinoa. The recipe was easy and DELICIOUS, and you can find it here. I wanted a white to pair with the shrimp, and with spicy foods, you want a low alcohol wine since alcohol heightens the spicy sensation. I looked at my whites on stash, and this one came in the lowest at 12.5% ABV. The milder citrus flavor (when compared to Sauvignon Blanc) and the hint of minerals made this a great pairing with various aspects of dinner. This wine also has a screw cap which makes it perfect for taking to a BBQ or picnic!

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Tasting Notes: Cardwell Hill Cellars Pinot Noir

The Facts

  • Producer: Cardwell Hill Cellars
  • Region: Willamette Valley, Washington State, USA
  • Vintage: 2011
  • Variety: Pinot Noir
  • Where I purchased: Total Wine
  • Price: $30
  • Eyes: Almost a raspberry red color. Darker than the majority of pinot noirs I have seen. Had a beautiful maroon color while pouring into my glass.
     
  • Nose: I had difficulty getting much of a nose on this one. I should probably invest in a pinot noir glass mentioned in my glassware post. Anyway, I smelled red berries first, something akin to strawberries, and then something I deemed "unidentfiable". My nose was familiar with the smell, but I couldn't pin point the word to associate with it. It was earthy, but not musty. Maybe iron? Or wet rocks? That is the closest I came to recognizing it.
     
  • Mouth: Full bodied for a pinot noir. Fruit forward with a hint of sourness.
     
  • Thoughts: I really enjoyed this wine, especially for a pinot noir as I typically shy away from the varietal. I'm glad this blog is forcing me to try new things and to broaden my wine horizons beyond big, bold cabs and red blends. Anyway, I enjoyed it, but not sure if I'd get it again as an everyday wine at its price point, but I will definitely be looking to try more Pinots from the Willamette Valley region.

I compared my notes to what Total Wine had out of curiosity and was surprised to find that I had hit some of the same things they had published, likely from the producer. Their notes were: Raspberry, cherry, cinnamon, green tomato & mineral notes on finish. Other descriptors were: elegant, raspberry, cherry, full-bodied.

Disclaimer: This is the first "tasting notes" I have done both on the blog and personally. I have never kept track of what I drink beyond maybe writing the name of the wine in my Notes on my iPhone and then never referencing it again. I have never had any formal training on how to taste beyond a Wine 101 class at my local Corkbuzz (post on this place to come later) and the tasting section was pretty generic, so needless to say, this will not be even close to perfect. But the trick to getting to perfect? Practice! So that is what I'm doing. 

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