2008 Dog Point Vinyard Pinot Noir, Marlborugh, NZ

10-16-133Dog Point Vinyards is located in the majestic Marlborough region in New Zealand with a vineyard that has a northerly “aspect,” allowing for a great deal of cool air to sweep over the vineyard. Their current vintages include Sauvingnon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and a white mix they call “section 94,” which sounds ominous if you’re a Trekkie––but it is a wine, so it’s got to be fairly clear of any moral ambiguities.

2008 Bouldevines Pinot Noir Dog Point Vineyard – $22

A sizzling nose full of wet stone, game and blackberry. It looked dark, complex, and red, no thinning on the glass. In the mouth the Dog Point started fresh and light with hints of blackberry and cherry. Once it opened up, however, it exploded––in the best way possible. Although I have to note here that this is very much unlike your typical pinot noir. This was a pinot that wished to be a grenache, a temperanillo, a sycophant for gusty varietals. Dark tannin with a hint of saddle wood; tannins that will bowl you over, feeling like it had all the alcoholic weight of new age California zinfandel. I was lip-smacking my way to the finish line, glad for this assault against normative presumptions of delicacy––even if it is what I truly want out of pinot noir. Bah! with expectations. The wine’s a great deal of fun.

Is it right for a wine to go astray from what is expected from the varietal? Is this ultimately misleading for the consumer purchasing a wine they expect to be, say soft, but instead open something more akin to the “new world” ideal?

I loved the wine; can’t say I care about answering the question.

Proviso: But I am a pacifist.

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