Graf Hardegg 2008 Pinot Noir “Vom Schloss”
Weinviertel region, northeastern Austria; 13% ABV
imported by USA Wine West for World Wine Headquarters
$3 at the Richmond, CA, store on 3 March; all gone next day
The only previous Graf Hardegg wine I’ve tasted before was a rosé of Pinot Noir. It tasted like it had been a lovely wine but was a bit too old by the time it showed up at the GO. So I was rather wary of this wine when it showed up. But at this price it sold quickly, and I thought I’d get one (to open with the Pinot below) before it vanished. It was amazingly good!
I did not take notes but what I recall is lovely, delicate Pinot flavors of light cherry, strawberry, slightly stemmy earthiness, Pinot funk, and slight orange. When I opened it, I was worried it would start tasting spoiled after some air, but it became slightly darker and more compelling with time. It was so good that I opened the half bottle I had planned to store for another night, and we had no trouble finishing it.
Louis Sipp 2009 Pinot Noir “Nature’S”
imported by Maritime Wine Trading Collective, SF, CA
Alsace, France; 12.5% ABV
$5 at the Richmond, CA, store on 29 Feb
I had never tried a Pinot Noir from Alsace before, and I had no idea what to expect. It turns out it is, much like Alsatian whites, closer to a German style of wine than to a more typical French. It has the character of a more northern wine, softer and darker, with a certain mustiness that is not just Pinot funk. The fruit showed darker red cherry and not too much else. I was not very excited about this wine, and the second half bottle (stored in a 375ml bottle and stoppered with very little air) was not much different. I found it tolerably Drinkable.