The SOMM Journal

June / July 2017

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Page 79 of 124

{ }  79 THE SOMM JOURNAL'S PANEL AT WORLD OF PINOT NOIR POINTS TO THE VARIETY'S IDEAL REGIONAL FLAVOR PROFILES by Meridith May / photos by Jeremy Ball Noir A s a performer, Pinot Noir is never cast as a character actor. It is not an ensemble player ; it does not do well as an extra or help fill a set with a cast of thousands. Rather, it demands a starring role. It can—and does—steal the show on the world stage, and always plays the lead in our own domestic arena. At this year's World of Pinot Noir conference in Santa Barbara, California, moderator Anthony Dias Blue, Editor-in-Chief of The Somm Journal, asked our global panelists how Pinot Noir per - forms in their respective terroirs and climates. "I've been a Pinot Noir fanatic all my life," insisted Blue. "My father took me to Burgundy when I was 11 years old. I was able to get a grip on the brilliant aspects of the grape—and its wines—at an early age, although Pinot Noir didn't really come into its own in the U.S. until the 1980s. The first Robert Mondavi Reserve Carneros Pinot Noir hit it right out of the ball park. Now, all these new regions have come to the fore." The invited speakers—representing producers from Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Chile, France and the U.S.—each brought a wine to demonstrate Pinot Noir's stage presence. There was no performance anxiety from these show-stoppers.

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