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Acacia Carneros Pinot Noir 2002

Pinot Noir from Napa Valley, California
  • WS90
0% ABV
  • WE90
  • WS87
  • W&S89
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Winemaker Notes

Number 100 on Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of 2004!

Fruit for the Carneros Pinot Noir was destemmed, but not crushed, and fermented warm to a maximum temperature of about 91°F. Once the structure, color and flavor of the wine appeared optimum, the tanks were drained and put down to barrel just barely sweet, so that the last couple Brix finished fermenting slowly in barrel over a matter of weeks. After nine months of barrel aging, the wine was racked and filtered with no fining before bottling.

The deep ruby red color is an initial clue as to the power of this wine. The nose exhibits a delicate balance between primary fruit and rich, meaty, savory notes. A deep, black cherry aroma intermingles with subtle blackberry, cassis, roasted meat, wet earth and Provençal herb notes. The wine is creamy and mouthfilling on entry with a strong cola impression at midpalate that leads to vanilla and tar on the long, broad, red cherry finish.

The bold flavors of a slow-roasted rosemary and garlic pork loin will highlight the wine's red fruit components while standing up to its rich flavors. As a side dish, a mushroom and pancetta ragout provides earth flavors and fat that will accentuate the earthiness of the wine and balance its firm structure.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
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Acacia

Acacia

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Acacia, , California
Acacia
Situated just two miles from San Francisco Bay in the Carneros District of Napa Valley, Acacia Vineyard is distinguished by a cool microclimate dominated by wind and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean, and by shallow, dense clay soils. While these difficult growing conditions limit grape production, they result in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes of rare power and complexity.

Founded in 1979, Acacia made one of the first Pinot Noirs in the Carneros District. Today Acacia is a leader in the new Carneros by handcrafting compelling Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays that defy conventional winemaking wisdom and consistently exceed expectations. A firm winemaking approach to Pinot Noir highlights the bold character of Carneros fruit while capturing the grape's earthy complexity and silky texture. Acacia's Carneros Chardonnay is ripe and crisp.

Languedoc-Roussillon

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An extensive appellation producing a diverse selection of good-quality, value-priced wines, Languedoc-Roussillon is the world’s largest wine-producing region, spanning the Mediterranean coast from the Spanish border to Provence. Languedoc forms the eastern half of the larger appellation, while Roussillon is in the west; the two actually have quite distinct personalities but are typically grouped together. Languedoc’s terrain is generally flat coastal plains, with a warm Mediterranean climate and a frequent risk of drought. Roussillon, on the other hand, is defined by the rugged Pyrenees mountains and near-constant sunshine.

Virtually every style of wine is made in this expansive region. Dry wines are often blends, and varietal choice is strongly influenced by the neighboring Rhône valley. For reds and rosés, the primary grapes include Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, and Mourvèdre. White varieties include Grenache Blanc, Muscat, Ugni Blanc, Vermentino, Maccabéo, Clairette, Piquepoul and Bourbelenc. International varieties are also planted in large numbers here, in particular Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In Roussillon, excellent sweet wines are made from Muscat and Grenache in Rivesaltes, Banyuls and Maury. The key region for sparkling wines here is Limoux, where Blanquette de Limoux is believed to have been the first sparkling wine made in France, even before Champagne. Crémant de Limoux is produced in a more modern style.

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.

LAU100121702_2002 Item# 79553

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