Welcome to our first “Friday Night Flights”!
How it works:
The flight is randomly picked from a set (5 or so) of pairs of wines. I’ve chosen the pairs to be comparable on varietal and price (so that I’m not comparing apples to oranges) and then the wines are tasted blind. I’ll describe them and offer a few comparisons and then reveal them on the next page. In the future we’ll also discuss the food we paired the wines with.
So… on to the flight…
The first wine presents a pale ruby color. It’s rather translucent, but a lovely color.
On the nose, Wine A is totally fragrant with notes of red cherry, raspberry, blackberry and vanilla, with a definite floral overtone. It is clearly oaked, with aromas of vanilla and baking spices. I detected notes of forest floor as well…
The palate presents red cherries, raspberries, and vanilla, with light tannins and high acid. The finish isn’t long, but the overall impression is lovely, with nice balance between the fruit and acid. I was impressed by this wine… it’s lovely.
This is clearly a Pinot Noir.
Wine B is ruby as well, but is darker.
The nose on Wine B is also darker, with black cherries, red plum, and blueberry. But there is also a strong hint of white pepper and tobacco as well as meat. This wine is more substantial on the nose.
The palate is similar to the nose, with black cherries, tobacco, and plums.
In contrast to Wine A, Wine B is definitely more tannic, but with decent acid and more body. Its finish is also a bit longer. Again, clearly a Pinot Noir.
Wine B probably has more potential age (maybe 3-5 years) compared to Wine A, which should be drunk relatively young.
Wine A is a 2015 Weingut Nelles Pinot Noir. 13% alcohol, maturation in old oak barrels.
The 1479 on the label refers to the first known date that refers to a member of the Nelles family making wine. Philip Nelles and his father Thomas Nelles now have responsibility for wine making.
Nelles is one of six VDP vintners on the Ahr.
Wine B is a 2015 Domain Michel Noëllat Bourgogne. 12.5% alcohol, maturation in 30% barriques.
Domaine Michel Noëllat is located in Vosne-Romaneé in the Côte D’Or.
The Noëllat family has been making wine since the 19th century. Brothers Alain and Jean-Marc Noëllat make wine from a variety of locations in the Côte d’Or, including 1er Crus from Vosne-Romanée.
Both wines retail locally for the equivalent of about US$16.00.
I found both wines to be very good, but with different emphases. In particular, the nose on the Nelles is phenomenal, but the Noëllat has more body, and is probably better suited to heavier dishes like lamb than the Nelles, which would be very enjoyable on its own for with lighter fare like cheese.
My impression is that these wines typify the distinction between wines from the Ahr in Germany and from Burgundy. Ahr wines (or Spätburgunder from Germany more generally) often exhibit an incredible nose. Burgundies can be a bit more “earthy” and fuller bodied. Both reflect the terroir from which they are made.
It’s clear both are wines made by skilled vintners and both offer exceptional quality for the price.
See you again next week… comments are of course most welcome below.