Two really delicious Pinots came my way as samples and they are both very special. Chronicle Pinot Noir 2006 Sonoma Coast, and Chronicle 2006 Cerise Pinot Noir. As one would expect the Sonoma Coast is bright and really pops and the Cerise is a tad bit more serious. When I first opened the Cerise, I thought I smelled a bit of brett, but after a few minutes in the glass, it was that same mysterious near-brett smell that is in a lot of Burgundies. It's the barnyard, forest floor, slightly mossy smell that most people perceive as herbaceousness. I had an excellent Charmes-Chambertin last week that had a very similar aroma from Nicolas Potel. It also has the delicate touch of Littorai's Ted Lemon behind it, so no wonder it's a serious, cellar-worthy wine.
The 2006 Sonoma Coast has a lovely freshness that reminds me of young Gap's Crown area Pinots, from Patz & Hall or Harrington, both wines I really like. It has a distinctive bing cherry aroma and it screams to be paired with food. It is ready to drink now in it's exuberant youth, but a few years in the cellar will make it less angular.
To accompany these wines, I made some roasted salmon with leek-mushroom hash and some wild rice blend. I love the way Pinot compliments simple salmon dishes.
Both these wines are highly recommended.