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White Pinot Noir

I just found and bought a bottle of "Left Coast Cellars" White Pinot Noir. 2013 Willamette Valley.

I've not tried a white Pinot Noir (probably because the State, plus the area I live in is not wine savvy, so I was surprised to see this bottle). I don't consider myself having a huge knowledge of wine, but I'm comfortable going to a restaurant and finding wines that are good whether the list is 1 page or 20.

Have any of you tried a White Pinot Noir? Is this common? This particular Pinot was aged 5 months in Stainless Steel.

Thoughts? Opinions? Thanks!

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  1. Not common I'd say, but really just a still version of Blanc de Noir sparkling wine I think. I've never seen it in SoCal but I know it's made in Oregon and in The Anderson Valley of CA.

    1. I almost think it's a crime to make rosé from good Pinot grapes, but a white??? What for?
      Shades of white balsamic vinegar and white port.

      1. I'm sure it is not a lot different than white zinfandel or white merlot.

        1. Novy, another label for Suduri, has put out a white pinot noir from willamette valley.It's okay, nothing great.
          Domaine Serene puts out Coeur Blanc, a white wine made from pinot noir. I haven't had it. It's $95 a bottle. I can buy some awfully good white Burgundy for $95 a bottle.


          9 Replies
          1. re: SteveTimko

            This Is interesting. Seems like the producers are serious wineries, certainly Siduri and Domaine Serene are well respected. Pinot Noir is obviously a grape one doesn't use for 'trivial' wine. I'm thinking this is not in the White Merlot vein and certainly no where near White Zin.

            1. re: Midlife

              the Novy wine seems more a like a novelty. It comes in a screwcap. Not that I'm against screwcaps.

              1. re: SteveTimko

                We'll, Novy is their second label but are you REALLY saying it's a novelty because of the screwcap? Siduri's better Pinots have them too.

                1. re: Midlife

                  I'm saying it because it doesn't taste like it's made to age. The screwcap puts an exclamation point on that. I haven't purchased Siduri or Novy in six years. It was the first wine of theirs that had screwcaps. Even the entry level Willamette pino had cork.
                  By the way, I wouldn't call Novy a second label. the wines generally are as seriously made as the Siduri.

                  1. re: SteveTimko

                    I thought Siduri was for owned vineyards, and Novy was for purchased grapes....not a 100% certain.

                    1. re: pinotho

                      As I understand it, Siduri is for Pinot Noir, period. Novy is for everything else . . .

                      1. re: zin1953

                        That's certainly how it appears from their respective sites. And I'm wrong about Novy being a 'second' label, so my conclusion is that White Pinot Noir is something they take seriously. Doesn't mean everyone finds it worthwhile, but I wouldn't simply dismiss it as White Zin's sister.

                        1. re: Midlife

                          >>> Doesn't mean everyone finds it worthwhile, but I wouldn't simply dismiss it as White Zin's sister. <<<

                          No, neither would I. But I find the rosés far more interesting than the "blancs."

                      2. re: pinotho

                        What vineyards do they own? It says on their website they supervise and buy pinot grapes from more than 20 vineyards.
                        I don't recognize every vineyard on the list, but I know they don't own at least a dozen of them.

            2. It took the Cistercian monks a thousand years to find out what to do with Pinot Noir. I don't see the point in trying to improve on that. Unless, that is, there is somebody willing to bet on another thousand years investment.

              1. It's fairly common to bleed some of the juice off of Pinot to get a more concentrated wine (the method is called saignee) and this juice can be made into very nice rose wines. But when you say "white" that implies a sweet wine in the style of white Zinfandel. Is there any description on the label as to sugar level?

                1 Reply
                1. re: firecooked

                  Don't see an RS number in this about the Novy, but I'm not thinking White Zin at all.


                2. Never had a white PN but had a rose PN. It should be ready as vinegar (it is in the crock with white wine vinegar mother) in about two months. I am interested in how it will turn out.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: tim irvine

                    Did you leave it out in the sun by accident? :o). The last PN Rose I had was Miraval Perrin Jolie Pitt and it was pretty darned great.

                    1. re: Midlife

                      Uh, I don't *think* so . . .

                      Miraval Rosé is appellation "Côtes de Provence" contrôlée -- no Pinot Noir is permitted in that appellation. As described in The Wine Spectator (http://www.winespectator.com/webfeatu...):

                      "The Côtes de Provence rosé is a blend of red grapes Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah and white grape Rolle (aka Vermentino). It was made using a combination of direct pressing and the saignée method and vinified primarily in stainless vats. Roughly 5 percent was fermented in oak barrels to give the wine added richness."

                      Without meaning to cast this thread adrift, I think it's a very fine rosé -- though not, as some have touted, "the best rosé in the world!" (http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-n...)

                      1. re: zin1953

                        Oh, we'll. Brain fart I guess. But I HAVE had PN Roses that were very good. Should have known the 'Jason Police' would be watching.

                        1. re: Midlife

                          Sorry; can't help it.

                          In the FWIW Dept., I have had a number of really enjoyable PN Rosés, but very few *white* Pinot Noirs that I have really liked.

                      2. re: Midlife

                        No. It was as intended. Nothing wrong with it. Just not to our taste. It seemed, however, to have some characteristics that would good in vinegar. So that is what we did with it.

                    2. It just says, "the tiniest bit of residual sugar adds a counterbalance to good acids.". I'm going to try it later on today.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: chloebell

                        Chloebell, in the spirit of giving you far more information than you could ever truly want . . .

                        White wines can be made from almost¹ any Vitis vinifera "red wine" grape (e.g.: Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and -- yes -- Pinot Noir, among others), simply by vilifying them as a white wine. That is to say, the juice is colorless; if you ferment only the juice by itself, there is little-to-no opportunity for the juice to pick up any red pigments from the skin, and thus, the result is a white wine².

                        Although White Zinfandel is the most famous California example of this -- the earliest example in post-Prohibition California was made in 1964 by David Bruce; Sutter Home, the best known, started making it in 1972 -- white wines from Pinot Noir go back just as far: Sebastiani in Sonoma produced their White Pinot Noir, called "Eye of the Swan" in the early 1970s, as did Caymus in Napa Valley (labeled as "Œil de perdrix," meaning :eye of the partridge"), among others.

                        Although very popular, one of the reasons a number of California wineries made it was, quite frankly, because early efforts at making [red] Pinot Noir in this state were, shall we say, less than inspiring. But as California vintners became better and better at making Pinot Noir, there was less and less need for them to "shunt" some of the grapes into white wine production.

                        As Oregon vineyards contain *very* little acreage planted to Zinfandel, and a lot of acres of Pinot Noir, it is quite natural for Oregon producers to make a White Pinto Noir.

                        ¹ A relatively tiny handful of V. vinifera grapes have red juice -- less than 2%, IIRC; the rest of the dark-skinned grapes all have colorless juice.

                        ² This is technically different from a rosé, in which the clear juice spends at least *some* time in contact with the skins, deliberately picking up some color, but not enough to be considered a red wine.

                      2. Most white Zinfandel is sweet and flabby. This wine has 7.24g / L acidity and no more than 0.7% residual sugar.

                        They call it white, but if you look at a photo it's very pale pink.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          I had a glass last night. Meh. It didn't have a wow factor at all. If I didn't know it was a white PN, I would have thought it was a Chardonnay.

                          Oh well, onto other tastings.

                          Thanks zin 1953 for your helpful information. :)

                          1. re: chloebell

                            Chloe, there is a SIGNIFICANT difference between a *white* Pinot Noir (or a white made from ___________) and a Pinot Noir (or ___________) Rosé.

                            I am not a huge fan of White ____________, be it a White Zinfandel, White Pinot Noir, White Cabernet Sauvignon, White Merlot, White Grenache, White Syrah, White -- whatever. On the other hand, rosés from those very same grapes can be excellent, whether from California, Oregon, France, Spain, Portugal or wherever.

                            Generally speaking, the rosés will have more depth of flavor and character than with the whites produced from the same grape variety. Also, rosés (especially -- again, generally speaking -- those from Europe) tend to be drier (less sweet) and more food-friendly than do the whites.

                            I don't know where you live, but warm weather is made for rosés -- think outdoor lunches, picnics in a park, early evening (lighter) dinners . . .

                            Have fun exploring! And, lastly, I would recommend seeking out a local, ***knowledgable*** wine shop where the people who work there know and love wines. Seek them out, tell them the sort of thing you're looking for, and listen to their recommendations . . . .

                            1. re: zin1953

                              So you're not a fan of white burgundy? Not even Montrachet?

                              1. re: kagemusha49

                                That is *not* white wine from Pinot Noir. That is Chardonnay.

                        2. Anne Amie Vineyards in Carlton, OR makes a white PN they call Prisme, aged for 18 months in French oak barrels. It is not cheap (@$40), but is very good. For the money, though, I'd prefer a good Savennieres from the Loire Valley.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: mgdevine

                            Highly recommend a visit to the Carlton Wine Makers Studio if you happen to be in the area.