Sunday, December 4, 2022

BÖEN Tri-appellation Pinot Noir

BÖEN 'Tri-Appellation' Pinot Noir for pleasant casual high QPR sipping

We opened this casual sipping Pinot Noir with biscuits, crackers and artisan cheeses. This is from Joseph Wagner, fifth generation Napa Valley winemaker, who grew up in the wine business working alongside his father Chuck Wagner, famed legendary founder and winemaker at Caymus Vineyards. 

One of the cheeses we enjoyed was Delice de Bourgogne, a French classic triple crème cheese that originated in the Burgundy region of France. Authentic Delice de Bourgogne has a white, bloomy and pungent rind because of the Penicilium Candidum mold.

A tribute to small scale industrial French cheese-making, this is from Murrays Cheese on Bleeker Street in Greenich Village, New York. We discovered it there during several of our dining experiences at their wine and cheese restaurant there, then were surprised and delighted to see it available at our local Mariano's grocery cheese department, after they sold out to their parent Krogers. Mariano's Delice de Bourgogne is a pasteurized triple creme (75% butterfat in dry matter) that marries full-fat cow milk with fresh cream, producing a rich forward cheese. Unlike many straightforward triple-cremes, this one has a thin, pungent mold rind that imparts straw and mushroom aromas, complementing the buttery yellow, sweet cream interior. 

While this is best served with Champagne, being from Burgundy it is also enjoyed with Burgundian Pinot Noir such as this one. We found its pungent forward sharpness is softened for pairing with red wine by adding a bit of honey. 

Joseph learned his way around a vineyard long before he was able to drink wine. By the time he was nineteen, he knew that he would continue his family’s winemaker legacy, working alongside his father at Caymus Vineyards. 

In 2001, Joe created Belle Glos, with a focus on vineyard-designated Pinot Noirs from California’s best coastal regions.

This is another Joe Wagner project; he chose the name BÖEN, a translation of ‘The Farm’, as a constant reminder that the wine he produces is indivisible from the land that it comes from, that "first and foremost, I am a farmer.” His wines are crafted to reflect the vineyard sites where they are sourced.

BÖEN wines are produced as an expression of  Pinot Noir and Chardonnay made in his signature style of rich, ripe fruit flavors balanced with bright acidity and judicious hints of toasty oak. The BÖEN portfolio consists of several vineyard or appellation specific wines that tend to offer high QPR - quality price ratios.

BÖEN Tri-appellation Sonoma County, Santa Barbara County, Monterey County Pinot Noir 2020

This 100% Pinot Noir is actually a blend of grapes from three different California counties, netting out to be 45% Sonoma County, 29% Santa Barbara County and 26% Monterey County, hence referred to as a Tri-Appelation blend. 

This is the entry level Pinot of the line-up and offers great value in this every day sipper. 

We first discovered this wine as the WBTG - wine by the glass offering at a favorite fine dining local restaurant. We have since found it at Cosco, which tends to be quite discriminating in their wine selections and offerings, generally providing significant QPR throughout. I wrote about COSCO and their wine offerings in a recent blogpost.

Winemaker Notes for this release: "Dark Plum in color with ruby red highlights. On the nose, luscious notes of raspberry swirl along side dark plum notes accompanied by hints of rosemary and sage. Rich and well balanced with bright blackberry, Bing cherry, dark chocolate and a hint of caramel on the palate. This wine is sure to please with its rounded mouth-feel, and long, smooth, velvety finish."

Not your typical fruit forward California style, it leans more toward old world style, ruby colored, medium bodied, bright dark cherry fruit with vanilla, herb, tobacco and earth, with nice body and mouthfeel.

RM 88 points.