Evening Land Vineyards Bourgogne Rouge Pinot Noir 2011
Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
The core of this blend coming from Marsannay give this wine bright cherry notes, supple tannic structure and vibrant acidity. This village produces some of the winery's favorite Bourgogne level wines and has some of the oldest sites for Pinot in the Cote. The more profound and slightly tannic fruit of Savigny-les-Beaune provides depth and structure to the final blend.
Evening Land Vineyards
Founded in 2005, Evening Land Vineyards is an ambitious and unique project dedicated to making world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the finest sites in California, Oregon and France. From the storied clay and limestone soils of Burgundy to the Eola-Amity Hills in Oregon, the true Sonoma Coast in Occidental and the western lip of Santa Barbara County's Sta. Rita Hills, Evening Land produces wines imbued with spirit of place.
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The region of Burgundy is the fairytale land of vines. There are stories of kings, conquerors and commoners recounting the seductive effects of a Burgundian wine. Even now, many wine aficionados and lovers will pinpoint their most memorable wine moment at that first taste of an aged Burgundy. Much of this can be related to the terroir of Burgundy. Centuries of winemaking have led the Burgundians to know which grape clone grows best on which plot of land, including the soil, the angle towards the sun and the elevation – all of these factors contribute to the terroir of Burgundy. Vineyards from around the world plant cuttings of exact Burgundian clones, trying to replicate the Burgundy style.
Burgundy is a small region, only about a fourth the size of Bordeaux. The narrow thread of vineyard land stretches from the city of Dijon to Lyon. The five main districts of Burgundy are – from North to South - Chablis, Côte d'Or, Côte Chalonnaise, Maconnais, and Beaujolais. Chablis is far removed geographically (above Dijon) and adheres to its own classifications. Beaujolais is its own region due to grape variety, vinification methods and regulations. Leaving us with the Côte d'Or, Côte Chalonnaise and Maconnais as the heart of Burgundy.
Grapes of the region are easy to remember - Pinot Noir for reds, Chardonnay for whites. Burgundy can be called home for both varietals, despite their increasing presence in every winemaking country. In this area red wines out number whites, although the quality for both is unparalleled.
A bit of History... Once owned and run by the church and nobility, the vineyards of Burgundy were seized during French Revolution and sold off piece by piece. Further separation occurred with Napoleonic Law, which ordered that inherited land be divided among children equally. These two factors put Burgundy where it is today – a myriad of vineyards and villages, each with a number of growers and producers.
Négociants Burgundy is organized by plots of land and labeled as such. About half of Burgundy works on a négociant system. Growers of small plots sell grapes, or more often, barrels of already made wine, to négociant houses who then blend it with other wines from that region and put it under their label. While the négociant system may sound like a way to produce mass amounts of anonymous wines, that is, luckily, not the case. Wines are labeled with a sense of place, so you know what land you are getting. There are some négociant houses that are much more renowned and consistent than others, and for the most part, the system works. But times are changing. Some growers are purchasing more land and making the wine on their property, under their label, for more consistency. On the other side, négociant houses are buying up their own vineyards so they will have more control over winemaking.
Classification System The classification system is similar to a pyramid. At the base of the pyramid is the most basic of the classifications, the Burgundy AC, meaning grapes can come from anywhere in the Burgundy region. Next up is a village wine, such as Côte de Beaune or Côte de Nuits, or the villages within these regions, like Givery-Chambertin or Puligny-Montrachet. The label will say Appellation Puligny-Montrachet Controlée. At the next level is the premier cru. A wine that says Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru will still be Appellation Puligny-Montrachet [premier cru] Controllée, but may include the premier cru vineyard name, such as Les Pucelles. At the tip of the pyramid are the grand cru vineyards. There are only 30 in the Côte d'Or and the name of the vineyard is the appellation name.
Oregon has long been an agricultural state, producing everything from hazelnuts to cattle. The Willamette Valley
in particular is a fertile basin for all sorts of produce. Not quite pegged as a wine state, in 1965, a UC Davis graduate named David Lett decided that the Willamette's climate mirrored that of Burgundy in France. With that in mind, he decided to plant some Pinot Noir
clones to see how they did. And a good gamble it was. The Willamette is now one of the only regions in the world to focus solely on Pinot Noir as its red variety. Also known for Chardonnay
and Pinot Gris
. The southern part of Oregon has been slower in delving into the world wine market, but has been making excellent strides with their Rhone style varietals, like Syrah
. There are also coastal regions producing promising wines.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
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.