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Keller Estate La Cruz Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005

Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
  • WE91
0% ABV
  • W&S92
  • WW92
  • WE90
  • W&S94
  • WE92
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Winemaker Notes

"Keller enters the big leagues with this marvelously layered Pinot Noir. For starters, it's delicious. Dry and crisp, the flavors are of ripe cherries, raspberries, tangerines, pomegranates and cola, with smoky, spicy complexities from New French oak. The mouthfeel is smooth and velvety, leading to a long, fruity finish."
Wine Enthusiast
91 Points

Critical Acclaim

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WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
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Keller Estate

Keller Estate

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Keller Estate, Sonoma County, California
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Keller Estate Winery and Vineyards, owned by the Keller family, is nestled in the Sonoma Coast, Northwest of the Carneros region on Lakeville Highway east of Petaluma not far from the edge of the county. They are the southernmost winery in the Sonoma Coast appellation and the first to establish itself in the Petaluma Valley. The San Pablo Bay lies immediately to the south. To the Northwest lies the Petaluma gap where an opening in the coastal hills allows masses of fog to flow freely towards the Petaluma Valley. This geographical signature is unique and creates a cool and long growing season for Keller Estate's vineyards.

The winemaking philosophy at Keller Estate is simple: they respect the terrior that is characteristic of this vineyard estate and they minimize the handling and manipulation of the grapes to preserve the quality. They have pursued a blueprint of clonal diversity based on the altitude, orientation and soil composition of each vineyard block that is best for each individual clone. This clonal diversity provides the textures, flavors and aromas with which to build complexity into the wines. Winemaker Michael McNeill spends considerable time in the vineyard, assessing crop levels, canopy management and irrigation timing. However, his most important decision comes from tasting the ripening fruit over and over again – the optimal time to harvest.

Sonoma County

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for nearly every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa, the region only produces about half the amount of wine, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in both quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River and Sonoma Valleys, Carneros, and Fort Ross-Seaview. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

ALX05PN2_2005 Item# 93419