Etude Heirloom Pinot Noir 2006
Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
This open and inviting Pinot Noir begins with aromas of rose petal, black tea, tart cherry and spice. The rich fruit flavors and vibrant acidity keep the wine well-lifted on the palate. The round, fine-grained tannins and wonderful oak integration carry through on the finish, which is persistent with hints of orange zest and minerality. This young wine will continue to evolve for several more years and promises exceptional complexity and age-worthiness.
All the fruit in this Pinot Noir is grown on the Etude Estate Vineyards in Carneros and comes from shy-bearing selections with a marked tendency to produce small, irregularly shaped bunches and very small berries. Growers typically hold such vines in low regard due to their inability to produce consistent crops. This tenuous economic viability threatens their existence.
Heirloom Pinot Noir is made in small lots using the most traditional techniques, with no fining or filtration. New French oak barrels are employed for aging each vintage. Approximately 1,000 cases of the 2006 vintage were produced from these very restrictive sources.
Wine Enthusiast - "Big, powerful, soft, rich and ageable. In other words, classic Etude Heirloom. Resembles the rich 2002, with massive flavors of cherries, rasp-berries, cocoa, anise, bacon and smoky sandal-wood. Enormously complex, a wine that changes with every sip as it breathes and warms. Shows the density of Cabernet, with Pinot's silkiness."
Etude Wines Winery
The underlying philosophy at Etude Wines is that winemaking begins in the vineyard, long before the grapes are harvested. Winemaker, Jon Priest, believes that superior grape growing diminishes the need for intervention by the winemaker and results in a wine that is grown, not made. Etude specializes in two classic red varieties: Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. Though modeled on the best from Burgundy to Bordeaux, these wines speak clearly of their contemporary California origins, combining rich, ripe fruit with an elegant and opulent mouth feel. View all Etude Wines Wines
About Sonoma CountyView a map of Sonoma County wineriesRelated Links:
Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about a half the amount of wine as her northeasterly neighbor. But Sonoma, with her size, is able to vouch for more diversity within her borders, including sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid back and down home country style. But in wines, they are keeping up with the Joneses, or Napa-ites if you will. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Notable FactsThe largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
About CaliforniaIt'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.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost 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.
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