We bought Londer Pinot Noir from the PA State Store on the strength of some of the recommendations on PAWineTalk. Among wine geeks, it's generally accepted that it is difficult to find good Pinot Noir for $15 or less, so we are always looking for good Pinot at this price point. We didn't find it.
Londer tasted pretty much like all the other US Pinots we've had. Our tasting notes say, "raw, edgy, hot/high alcohol, smoky, forest fire, sour raspberries, strong." If you like this domestic style of Pinot Noir, you may like Londer, as many folks on PAWineTalk did. If you prefer the French style, read on.
We compared the Londer side-by-side to Domaine Poulleau Père & Fils Côte de Beaune Les Mondes Rondes. We know, that's a lot of foreign looking names all next to each other. Don't be scared, it's just 100% Pinot Noir from France--they call it Burgundy. But very big difference in taste. Our tasting notes say, "pleasant, fresh, clean, not complex, bright fruit, light, delicate."
Can you tell which one we liked better? We thought the Londer might improve by having it with some food, but the opposite occurred: the Poulleau got better, and the Londer seemed to get worse.
This was a very useful exercise for us, it really brought some clarity to our preferences for these different expressions of Pinot Noir. While the French stuff may be hard to find, we are smitten, and we may not be buying any more California Pinot for quite a while.
2008 Domaine Poulleau (Pere et Fils) Cote de Beaune “Les Mondes Rondes” - $13.99
"If you enjoy the freshness, nuance and mineral-driven persona that only comes from Pinot Noir rooted in the Cote d’Or, this wonderful example is not only a breath of fresh air, it’s a revelation of sorts. A multi-award winner, (I believe this won the gold or silver medal at Macon, which is one of the most competitive shows for Burgundy) Domaine Poulleau’s Cote de Beaune “Les Mondes Rondes” delivers a terroir-filled, classic expression of the grape for a pittance of a price (although it’s normally $25 or more, so I should discuss the wine in the context of that price)....
While today’s offer is not for those that lean toward sappy, 14.5-15.5% domestic Pinot Noir, it is for everyone else."
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