2007 International Pinot Noir Celebration


The International Pinot Noir Celebration is rightfully considered the benchmark in Pinot Noir festivals. Beginning in 1987, this event is held annually in McMinnville, Oregon, on the beautiful grounds of Linfield College. With participating wineries from Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, and of course the U.S., and seminars, winemaker discussion panels, bus tours, lunches and dinners – this a full immersion into the international world of Pinot Noir.

Join us as we hear from Rusty Gaffney, the Prince of Pinot, about all the going’s on at this year’s INPC, such as Georg Riedel unveiling a new piece of Riedel stemware specifically designed for Oregon Pinot Noir. Also, Rusty gives us a few tips on what wines impressed him at the event, along with a vintage report and much more.

For More Info on the International Pinot Noir Celebration: : www.www.ipnc.org

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Show #161
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9 Responses to “2007 International Pinot Noir Celebration”

  1. 1 Raymond Aug 4th, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    A great pity indeed. Being an International Pinot Noir event, Germany’s Spätburgunder was not mentioned. At the least it would be interesting to know how much Germany’s main red variety differs or is inferior to others. The wine glass discussion was interesting.

  2. 2 GrapeRadio Bunch Aug 5th, 2007 at 2:00 am

    Yikes Raymond, this post was intended as just a brief overview of the IPNC. We do plan on future posts where we will discuss the event in greater depth.

    Actually, I would like to do an entire show about Spätburgunder. However, I have had some difficulty (despite numerous attempts) finding someone with some expertise to join us for a discussion.

    p.s. Brian, this highlights the point I was trying to make about the content of this post.

  3. 3 Randy Aug 5th, 2007 at 9:43 am

    What a joke…

    Here in California, Pinot Noir has been elevated to a cult, superstar status with every producer proclaiming their love and respect for the variety… Let me offer a different perspective. Being a Zin producer in a cool climate, I have the opportunity to hang out nd work along side various Pinot grower and producers. In 2005, I assisted in harvesting a friends Pinot block for a very well-known producer who regularily scores 92-95 “points” in the Spectator and Parker for this single-vineyard designate. As the sugars rose from ripe to very ripe to heavily dimpled to eventual shrivel, the winery kept telling the grower, “oh it’s not ready- the mature floavor profiles aren’t there yet”, or “there’s no room in the tanks” and other various BS comments. Finally, at a mere 26.4 brix, we pulled off the totally decimated fruit, brown rachis and all and brought it to the winery’s crush pad, only to be greeted with a water hose and 50-LB bad of tartaric acid… I was dumbfounded to witness the “frankenstienization” of this once beautiful lot of fruit (about 18 days ago).

    What pushed me over the edge was when this wine was recently released… What a tweaked, manipulated, engineered version of Pinot… It was like a machine… This was not Pinot Noir. The vicosity was absurd, the alcohol found itself in the convienient “14.1%”- which really means 14.8-15%, the fruit profile was somewhere between flat cherry cola and masurated bowl of overly ripe cooked stewed fruit.

    I for one will be banning ALL Pinot Noirs over 14%. Period. To all those growers, you are getting screwed out of 20-25% weight ($), and for all the producers who proclaim their love for the variety and choose to be a number chaser (Speculator and Parker) over a Pinot Purist, WE HAVE YOUR NUMBER!!!!

    BAN ALL PINOTS OVER 14%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. 4 paul r Aug 5th, 2007 at 8:27 pm

    rusty is the bomb… do not know if his palate agrees with mine, as i have not had enough of the wines that he talks about… but he is a pleasure to listen to… he weaves a wonderful tale and makes me want to taste the wines he talks about… bravo to graperadio for including him more frequently…

  5. 5 GrapeRadio Bunch Aug 6th, 2007 at 5:54 am

    I have to include that comment on our press kit. He is indeed Da Bomb.

  6. 6 Rusty Gaffney Aug 6th, 2007 at 6:20 am


    The IPNC has had producers of German Spatburgunder attend in past years. It is difficult for anyone here in the US to attain expertise in Spatburgunder because very little of the good stuff is exported to the US. We just don’t get an opportunity to taste much. What I have tasted (about 25 over last couple of years) are often on a par with $20-25 California Pinots. The style, however, is less fruit flamboyant with more restraint, lively acidity, and less alcohol.


    You make some excellent points. No question many California (and Oregon ) producers are picking super ripe. Yesterday at a tasting event, Greg Brewer was pouring 15.9% 05 Clos Pepe Vineyard Santa Rita Hills Pinot. He said that many producers are also in that range but choose to state a lesser alcohol by vol % on label (above 14% I believe you have 1 1/2% leeway). As long as there is a market and a public thirst for Pinot on steroids, these pumped up darlings of the wine press will be plentiful.

  7. 7 Jeff Aug 8th, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    I really enjoyed this update. Clear and concise yet it really made me wish I had gone.

  8. 8 Pete.B Aug 12th, 2007 at 1:44 pm

    Fellas, please!

    You do a great podcast but you really should stop promulgating the Riedel myth. They certainly are well made and the presentation gives a feeling of quality and care in craftsmanship, but they are still overpriced & quite overrated.
    The fact that smart talented people keep buying them prove the power of suggestion works even on the knowledgeable.

    Nowhere in Riedel’s literature or on their website have they published any details proving their claims in independent, *double blind* tests. There certainly are lot’s of marketing claims as well as anecdotal stories and some prominent quotes from Parker. There are also vague claims about research by Professor J Riedel, but detail is severely lacking.

    In fact, Riedel’s own test, purportedly commissioned to counter Daniel Zwerdling’s 2004 article “Shattered Myths” in Gourmet magazine, was not able to prove any of Riedel’ own product claims. The subjects couldn’t tell the difference between the glasses.

    As wine wine professionals you’d know that the only true way to properly judge a wine is start by knowing nothing about the origin or history of what you are tasting. Even seeing the neck/lip of the bottle can give too much away.
    There is good reason why wine judges taste from standard ISO glasses (to standardize results). And why they are filled by sommeliers who are not present during the tasting process (lest they accidentally let slip what was poured into any particular glass). Anything less would be highly suspect in the world of wine competitions.

    Need I mention Show 58 “Judgement of Paris”?
    The French wine industry would still be writing off Californian (and other new-world) wines if they hadn’t been put to the test in a double blind tasting by french tasters against premium French wines.

    So can I ask, when you first got a Riedel glass, how did you set out to determine if there was an actual difference?
    Was your testing as scrupulous as that of professional wine judging?
    Was a blindfold worn by each taster so that you could not tell which glass you were drinking from?
    Were you served by a third party that knew nothing about Riedel glassware?
    Did they alone hold the glass for you to drink from so you were not influenced by the weight/feel/size of the container?
    Did you taste against similar non Riedel glasses that had the same sort of lip size/shape/thickness so you were not influenced by how they felt against your mouth & lips?

    Only if the above are fulfilled can you possibly rule out bias when you make claims about the glasses.

    Here is a current book where the author has outed Riedel and plainly called Georg “a liar” for making such claims. Notably, Riedel has yet to seek retraction or redress in any court or forum.


    A good story makes the product better.

    Georg Riedel is a fibber—an honest spinner of tales. He tells his customers something that isn’t true—his wineglasses make wine taste better—and then the very act of believing it makes the statement true. Because drinkers believe the wine tastes better, it does taste better.

    Georg is a tenth-generation glass blower, an artisan pursuing an age-old craft. I’m told he’s a very nice guy. And he’s very good at telling stories. His company makes wineglasses (also whiskey glasses, espresso glasses, and even water glasses). He and his staff fervently believe that there is a perfect (and different) shape for every beverage. According to Riedel’s website, “The delivery of a wine’s ‘message,’ its bouquet and taste, depends on the form of the glass. It is the responsibility of a glass to convey the wine’s messages in the best manner to the human senses.”

    Thomas Matthews, the executive editor of Wine Spectator magazine, said, “Everybody who ventures into a Riedel tasting starts as a skeptic. I did.” The skepticism doesn’t last long. Robert Parker Jr., the king of wine reviewers, said, “The finest glasses for both technical and hedonistic purposes are those made by Riedel. The effect of these glasses on fine wine is profound. I cannot emphasize enough what a difference they make.” Parker and Matthews and hundreds of other wine luminaries are now believers (and as a result, they are Riedel’s best word-of-mouth marketers). Millions of wine drinkers around the world have been persuaded that a $200 bottle of Opus One (or a bottle of Two-Buck Chuck) tastes better when served in the proper Riedel glass.

    Yet when tests are done scientifically—double-blind tests that eliminate any chance that the subject would know the shape of the glass—there is absolutely zero detectable difference among glasses. A $1 glass and a $20 glass deliver precisely the same impact on the wine: none.

    So what’s going on? Why do wine experts insist that the wine tastes better in a Riedel glass at the same time that scientists can easily prove it doesn’t? The flaw in the experiment, as outlined by Daniel Zwerdling in Gourmet magazine, is that the reason the wine tastes better is that people believe it should. This makes sense, of course. Taste is subjective. Riedel sells millions of dollars’ worth of glasses every year. It sells glasses to intelligent, well-off wine lovers, who then proceed to enjoy their wine more than they did before. Marketing, in the form of an expensive glass and the story that goes with it, has more impact on the taste of wine than oak casks or fancy corks or the rain in June. Georg Riedel makes your wine taste better by telling you a story.

    More reading


  9. 9 Burgundy Wine Mar 29th, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Burgundy wine are wines that come from the French region of Burgundy. There is no secret for centuries the French have mastered the art of wine making. They know exactly when to pick the grape, how to cultivate the grape, and how to store the wine so thay the properties and flavor of Burgundy Wines are one of the finest in the world

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