Lily Pinot Noir 2003
Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
A wine as delicate as the flower and with the youthful vibrancy of my daughter, Lily. The bouquet of this wine bursts with ripe raspberry and spice. The silky elegance of the wine coats your palate as a wide array of red fruit flavors; sweet oak and spice permeate through a balanced and lingering finish. The wine can be enjoyed as a red aperitif or it pairs extremely well with most fish dishes, chicken, duck and wild game.
Grapes for the Lily Pinot Noir were sourced from vineyards in The Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros areas of California. These vineyard sites were chosen because of their cool climates which allow for long hang-time and cause the fruit to develop complexity. This complexity is evident in the Lily Pinot Noir.
The Lily wines were named after the President and C.E.O. of Billington Imports, Alex Bartholomaus', daughter. Grapes for these wines were sourced from the Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros regions of California. Specific vineyard sites were chosen because of their cool climates, long hang-time and complexity of fruit. The wines represent the true artistic nature of winemaking in some of California's boutique wineries. The Lily Pinot Noir and Chardonnay represent the true character of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from these areas of the country.
This area of California was once thought to be too cold to grow Pinot Noir. Now it's known as one of the top Pinot Noir sections of California. Recently growers have been moving out to the western outskirts of the county because they have learned that this land proves to be the best in the county with its ripe fruit and low yields.
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About Sonoma County
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.
The 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.
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.
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 & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.