Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Does the oversized Vinum XL Pinot Noir glass really make a difference?

As I posted earlier, during our visit to Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards, I ended up being the lucky winner of 2 Vinum XL Pinot Noir glasses. Initially, I have to admit that I was not really sure about these glasses. Large and tall (they hold slightly more than a full bottle of wine), they obviously don't fit in my dishwasher, but would their size and shape make a real difference on the wine-tasting experience?

So back at home, I had to check. I poured a 2001 Provenance Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville into the Vinum XL Pinot Noir glass (contenance 80cl) as well as into a Ouverture Red Wine glass (contenance 35cl), a glass that I particularly like because it doesn't break easily and fits nicely into my dishwasher.

Located on Highway 29 in Napa Valley, Provenance Vineyards currently owns the land originally farmed by Thomas Rutherford in the 19th century. The name Provenance means origin in French. The winery released its first Cabernet Sauvignon in 1999 and since then, has bought vineyards in the Rutherford, Oakville and Mount Veeder appellations. The philosophy of the winemaking team is to select top vineyards and intervene as little as possible during the winemaking process.

There was no comparison between the wine poured into my everyday Ouverture Red Wine glass and the wine poured into the Vinum XL Pinot Noir glass. The large bowl of the glass allowed the wine aromas to fully develop while the slightly flared top lip directed them efficiently towards the nose and mouth.

The wine had a deep garnet color and aromas of mint, figs, and blackberries on the nose. On the palate, it was full-bodied, rich, with flavors of sweet berries, leaving notes of cocoa on the finish.

These glasses are advertised for Pinot Noir but I think they really work well with full-bodied Cabernets. However, I would not bother using them for wines with much less body and a more subtle nose.

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1 comment:

Stefan said...

Thanks for letting us know!