Shana Speaks Wine

Wine Marketing Consultant and Journalist

Drinking out loud. 

Mega Magnums and Pinot Pours

"This is going to be a good time."

That was my initial thought upon first walking into Bar Boulud.

Why?  Because of these guys:


Ladies and gentlemen, we have magnums.  Ones that run the entire length of the bar.  Ones that hold some gorgeous French wines, like the Chateauneuf du Pape featured in the center. Any place that will unabashedly display such a huge collection of treasures wants you to drink wine and damn well enjoy it.

To my disappointment, the magnum du jour was a Beaujolais and while the entertainment value of watching a glass of it be poured from that enormous bottle was high, the actual glass of the stuff was going to be..... well, I'll be democratic and just say not what I was in the mood to drink.

However, the initial draw of Bar Boulud, as promised to me by my friend, was wine flights.  At this point, I think it's fairly well established that I love wine flights and I'm always happy to spend some time comparing and contrasting what's set in front of me.  A flight amidst all this wine peacocking?  Yes, please.

I went with a Pinot Noir flight, an interesting study in how differently the same grape can be vinified and the role of terroir.  Although it's one of the most widely planted grape varietals in the world, I don't drink many pinots, so this was going to be a fun experiment.



Chad Carneros Reserve 2010, California
Right up front, black cherry, earth and bell pepper came through on the nose.  Jammy, juicy fruits, such as raspberry and plum joined on the palate, as well as more pronounced tones of earthiness.  Vegetal notes rounded out the medium-bodied red, with moderate tannins.  I rather enjoyed this one.

Domaine David Renaud Vigneron a Irancy 2010, Chablis 
Chablis is an area in Burgundy that primarily produces premium chardonnays, so a red from this area is  rare. It's an interesting study in the various Bourgogne appellations and the effects the subtle differences in terroir can have on a wine.  This pinot was the lightest in color of the three.  Spices such as sage and rosemary joined ripe berry fruits and that pronounced earthiness again made an appearance.  However, this wine felt rather thin and flat in my mouth.  It was definitely my least favorite.

Domaine Petitot "Les Pimentiers",  2009, Savigny-les-Beaune
Burgundy.  World-class pinot.  Got it. My favorite of the three, this is an excellent entre into the world of Burgundies.  Juicy and round, this medium-bodied wine had pronounced but well-integrated tannins, giving it structure and depth.  The flavor profiles were similar in terms of fruit and earth to the Chablis, but far more complex.

This was definitely a great primer into the world of pinot noir; unfortunately, I think I'm going to be on a quest to drink some rather expensive Burgundies....