Selected Vineyards Pinot Noir is rich in both color and fragrance. With aromas of violet, cherry and Earth, this medium-bodied wine is very food-friendly. Balanced by warm spice accents of cloves and cinnamon, this wine finishes elegant and supple.
A historic and once-famous Livermore winery, Concannon was bought and sold several times in the 1980's by large conglomerates that were purchasing each other. Each sale resulted in a loss of focus, and the brand suffered. In 1992 Eric Wente of Wente Vineyards saved it from the jaws of destruction by assembling a group of eight investors to buy the winery. However, Concannon Vineyard is a totally separate company in both ownership and operation from Wente Vineyards.
Nestled amidst the vineyards and rolling hills along the Livermore Valley, Concannon has been widely recognized for crafting full-flavored, complex and award-winning wines. Ocean air pours through the Golden Gate each afternoon cooling the influence of the sun, and enabling the grapes to develop both the ripe sugars and firm acids that fine wine demands.
Concannon is perfectly positioned geologically, atop a 600-foot-deep bed of gravelly soil. These rocks require the vines to drive their roots deep into mineral-rich deposits, and it also keeps the grape and cluster size in moderation.
More than 140 of Concannon's 200 Livermore estate acres are Petite Sirah plantings grafted onto improved rootstocks. Over the decades, they have carefully tuned their planting and trellising to take full advantage of the unique terroir. The result: intensely flavored, memorable wines vintage after vintage.
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The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Grape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
I buy this wine locally for under 8 bucks, but even at 10 it is a hell of a buy. It is not a huge cab full of leather and classic earmarks, but it is an extremely quaffable, full-fruit, well-balanced wine. I bought some for a party, liking the price, then I discovered I liked the wine and now buy it as my "house" cab. Paul Pogo Cummins Austell, Ga. p.s. Just got 'round to opening a couple of bottles of 2007 Columbia Crest HHH I bought years ago. What a massive treat of a wine. My only regret is that I did not buy a couple of cases when I had the chance. Even though this site rated the 2011 at 90 also, I don't think it has a prayer of developing along the lines of the massive '07.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.