Friday, August 3, 2007

Airlie 2005 Pinot Noir

OK, so first off, let me say that I'm certainly far from a wine expert. I drink what I like, and that is that. I'll also say that I'm loyal to a few particular wineries, for good reason, and I'm sure you'll be able to tell as we progress through blogdomness.

I'm also a strong believer that enjoying wine is as much about the experience, setting, food pairing, and people as it is about the wine itself. As such, I intend on posting about the whole experience surrounding our wine adventures, so bear with it.

Tonight's endeavour was a bottle of 2005 Airlie Pinot Noir--a winery from Monmouth, OR. Drew picked up this particular bottle at a wedding a few weeks ago. We matched it with bbq'd new york strip steaks with garlic pepper, roasted sweet red peppers with olive oil, steamed brocolli with a light lemon and garlic sauce, and grilled chocolate-rum banana for dessert.

My first impression of this wine was so-so. Initially, the nose was a bit bland and while the taste was decent, it didn't seem to be anything too special. It did pair with the steak quite nicely, but I had drunk some Airlie previously and was less than impressed, and I was thinking this wasn't going to pass muster with the high bar of Willamette Valley pinot's. About 30 minutes later, though, we poured the second glass and it was a world of difference.

The coloration is the beautiful medium-red transulcency that you see in a good pinot, and while Airlie says that you should get red cherry and vanilla on the nose I wasn't getting that even on the second glass. I've never been good with that, though. After the wine opened up, I did notice distinct strawberry flavors with a bit of spice, along with your traditional pinot dust.

This is a smooth, drinkable wine that matches well with food. While I was a tad underwhelmed with the initial tastes and the fact that the nose never really opened up, once the wine had a chance to develop a bit I really enjoyed it (and still am as I write). I'd certainly recommend this one, but would advise you to aerate (or decant) it before drinking to really bring out the intensity of the wine.


  1. I picked this up at Eddie's wedding as a gift from Eddie after the well visited open hosted bar was closing. It was certainly a delicious wine after decanting for some time.

  2. Yay for starting a wine blog! I would say you did a fantastic job with your first review. I look forward to reading others.