Ernie Els Big Easy Red Blend 2011
With a dense and full-bodied palate, spice abounds from the dominant Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon adds punchy tannins and a robust structure. Floral and savoury notes from Mourvedre, Cinsaut and Viognier all contribute to the exotic rhythm of the Big Easy.... View More
Good dark, bright red. Brooding, inky aromas of blackberry, licorice and herbs complemented by a suggestion of dried berries. Silky on entry, then firm and a bit youthfully stunted in the middle palate, with black fruit, herb and spice flavors complicated by a leathery nuance. Sound acidity gives this wine good lift, but I'd wait a year or two before pulling the cork.
Ernie ElsView all wine
Lightly aromatic, pleasantly soft, and always approachable...
Lightly aromatic, pleasantly soft, and always approachable, Pinot Blanc is best known in Alsace, where it is considered a workhorse variety that takes a backseat to the more complex Pinot Gris. A white mutation of Pinot Noir, it produces easy-drinking, enjoyable wines here. In Italy, as Pinot Bianco, it gets a little more complex, especially in the mountainous Alto Adige region. It is perhaps most successful as Weissburgunder in Germany and Austria, where the wines are subtle, delicate, surprisingly complex, and age-worthy. There is also some Pinot Blanc performing well in Oregon and cooler pockets of California.
In the Glass
Typically, Pinot Blanc has a relatively full body and expresses simple but pleasing aromas of crisp green apple, pear, citrus, and white flowers. The finest examples possess stony minerality and occasionally ripe stone fruit flavors, and with age can develop intriguing notes of honey, vanilla, and almond.
Delicate Pinot Blanc works well with lighter fare such as salads, seafood, chicken, or turkey, but is truly at its best with Alsatian pairings like Hollandaise dishes, onion tarts, or the region’s notable soft cheeses such as Muenster.
Pinot Blanc’s delicate aromatics, full body, and moderate acidity make it a great alternative to the world’s most popular white wine. Anyone experiencing Chardonnay fatigue and looking to try something new would benefit from giving Pinot Blanc a try.