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2018 Commuter Cuvee Pinot Noir from Grochau Cellars


So I was talking to someone in the wineshop the other day, explaining that what is used to fine wines is what makes a wine vegan or not. The vegan philosophy and goal is good karma and making choices in which no harm is created to inflict on or exploit animals. Some wineries will say that you cannot taste any of the egg-whites, gelatin, lactose, or isinglass protein that is used to fine the wine, "all that is removed before bottling". However as a vegan and not just a plant based person, this statement from the wine makers or distributors of the wine are ineffectual. If the taste of its presence is what you are concerned about, then you are not really thinking about the 'doing no harm' philosophy of veganism.


After talking to him, it got me motivated again to look into newer wines at the shop to see if they were vegan or not. Mostly I concentrated on Oregon wines this time. The reason I concentrated more on that region is because generically they are more progressive than other areas, and hence more likely to be vegan. I used the example with him that if I was at a restaurant and had to guess at the wine list for vegan options, hands down I'd pick something from Oregon.



So I chose to write about the 2018 Commuter Cuvee Pinot Noir from Grochau Cellars located in Willamette Valley, Oregon.


The wine has a nice ruby color, but is a little thicker because of less fining/filtering. Their philosophy for the most part is very little manipulation and let the wine speak for itself. Hence why it's a little thicker in body even though it is high in acid and hence the grapes were not overripe. The legs are slow developing, but thin and fast once they form. There is also very little rim variation in this young vintage.


The scent has elements of dr. pepper, raspberry, cherry, chocolate and fennel.


The taste starts with tart blackberry pic, cherry cough drops with eucalyptus, black pepper, bakers chocolate, and a little earl grey tea.


The finish has a fruit explosion until about 4 seconds in, then a soft long finish where the tannins meld with the fruit and eucalyptus, and bakers chocolate. This wine does see some oak, but it is seasoned. (5% was seasoned and the rest was neutral oak.)


A great wine with food because of its acidity, but refreshing if drunk by itself because of its tart cherry. Put a chill on it to pull even more fruit into the wine.


Cheers!