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In Search of Pinot Noir Hardcover – May 16, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Benjamin Lewin MW has written a series of critically acclaimed books on wine. One of only 300 Masters of Wine, and the founding Editor of Cell journal, he brings a unique combination of qualifications in wine and science to bear on the world of wine. He also writes the myths and realities column in the World of Fine Wine, and contributes to Decanter magazine. He divides his time between the eastern United States and the wine-growing regions of Europe, and is presently working on his next book.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Vendange Press (May 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983729204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983729204
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.3 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #354,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Chambolle VINE VOICE on October 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Benjamin Lewin is nothing if not prolific - having rather quickly penned "What Price Bordeaux?," "Wine Myths and Reality," and now this volume devoted exclusively to pinot noir around the world. I find this to be the best of the three - but perhaps that is because I am also most interested in pinot noir, particularly as it is grown and vinified in Burgundy. In this book, Lewin explores the influence of terroir, viticultural practice and vinification methods on pinot from Burgundy and elsewhere in France, Germany, Oregon and California, Australia and New Zealand. Along with discussion of the effect of soils, climate and clonal selection, Lewin contrasts the fruit driven, New World pinot noir style with more austere, structured Burgundian wines. The book includes tasting notes that are particularly interesting - I believe this is the first time I have seen reasonably extensive notes of recent vertical tastings of pinot noir from the likes of Adelsheim, Domaine Drouhin, Calera, Williams Selyem and other U.S. pinots, for example. If you still have quite a bit of domestic pinot noir from the 80s and 90s lying in your cellar as I do, you may find these notes of considerable interest and you will be pleased to hear that, at least as far as Lewin is concerned, many still have plenty of life left in them. Lewin's bottom line is this: while red Burgundy may be the benchmark for pinot noir, even "traditional" Burgundy has undergone stylistic changes over time, most recently becoming more fruit driven than in the past. There may be a number of viable approaches to making great wine from this grape grown in different climates and on soils other than Burgundian limestone.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good general coverage, not as Burgundy-centric as most MWs appear to be. But he is still captured by that region's mythology. Good information on the wider aspects of the variety - cultivation and the various production concepts, with good notes on other regions. Less one star to discount the hyperbole. Otherwise a very good and informative tome.
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Format: Hardcover
I found the book to be very educational in a number of areas that I have always wondered about: What are the major clones of Pinot Noir and what is their history? Why in fact are there so many Dijon clones talked about and only one Pommard? What is the difference between Premier Cru, Grand Cru, AOC and village wines from Burgundy? What are the key regions of Burgundy to look for in labels? All of these are answered in very satisfying detail.

The touch of hype stems from the promise implied by the author that he will answer some rather inflammatory questions about Pinot Noir and its expression in different parts of the world. Although he indeed asks these questions, he doesn't really answer them explicitly.

One issue of editing: as the author tours around various sections of the world, he often changes regions without any kind of section header. A little bit of editing would make this very educational book more useful as a reference.

I highly recommend the book for those who want to learn more about Pinot Noir, it's history, and how it is expressed in wine throughout the world.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a useful book with a lot of good information. My biggest problem is the coverage of California. I also love Calera wines, but they are not isolated with no other vineyards within 50 miles. Chalone is ignored, as is the Salinas Valley. Santa Barbara has Byron, Sea Smoke and Au Bon Climat covered but there is so much more. Now, I live in Paso Robles, so I have some advantage over someone who lives out of the area, but these omissions make me wonder how the coverage is for other areas. Again, I liked the book, I just feel that there was a lot left out for California.
I do hope that when the author comes back to California he will try Paso Robles. Along with our Rhone varieties and Zinfandel, we do have a cool spot that is turning out some excellent Pinot Noir.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book takes a subject that is difficult to explain, and manages to explain it. He avoids the trap of treating all Pinot Noirs as if they were grown in Burgundy.
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