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Adelsheim Deglace Pinot Noir (half-bottle) 2006

Other Dessert from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    Winemaker Notes

    Dessert Pinot Noirs are relatively rare in the world. The inspiration for Adelsheim Deglacé occurred in 1988, when Michael Adelsheim was lucky enough to have an empty glass when Rheingau winemaker Josef Becker walked by with his 1976 Spätburgunder Trockenbeerenauslese at a party after that year's International Pinot Noir Celebration. Adelsheim set out to produce something similar with the 2001 harvest, mostly so they would have a wine with which to finish their winery dinners.

    There are two ways in which dessert wines of moderate alcohol content are traditionally produced: the grapes can become desiccated by botrytis cinerea ("noble rot") or they can be pressed when still partially frozen. An Oregon Pinot Noir producer would never want "botrytis" to spread in the vineyards (it ruins red wines), and Adelsheim can't remember a fall when they had an early freeze (i.e before the winter rains started.) Thus, in winemaker Dave Paige's first year with Adelsheim, one block of grapes was chosen for the experiment – which was to take the grapes to a freezer instead of the winery. The resulting faux "ice wine" was delicious, and a hit, so they have continued to produce it every year.

    Even with this sweet wine, Adelsheim stays true to its philosophy that a wine's highest use is in pairing with meals. That means retaining enough of the grapes' natural acidity to ensure that the wine never becomes too cloying. Deglacé has amazing apricot, fig and honeysuckle flavors that should prove to be a perfect match with red berry tarts, pumpkin cheesecake, and a wide range of other desserts.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Adelsheim

    Adelsheim

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    Adelsheim, , Oregon
    Adelsheim
    Established in 1971, Adelsheim is a family-owned and operated winery with estate vineyards located in Oregon's northern Willamette Valley. Over the past 41 years, the Adelsheim Vineyard estate has grown to include twelve exception vineyard sites throughout the Valley, totaling 237 acres. Company co-founder, David Adelsheim, has done work throughout the years to benefit both the Oregon and American wine industries: grape and wine research, wine labeling, industry education, and promotion. He is recognized for his "outstanding service" to the industry and has played a vital role in building the Oregon wine industry and establishing its reputation worldwide. Today, he leads a current generation of passionate staff devoted to leading the industry in crafting consistently transcendent wines.

    California

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    Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredibly wide-ranging selection of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from boutique to massive corporations, and price and quality are equally varied—plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Coast area, while Napa is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.

    Just about every style of wine you can imagine is made in California, from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. Each AVA and sub-AVA has its own distinct personality. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other Bordeaux varieties dominate, as well as Sauvignon Blanc. Sonoma County is best known for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with Alsatian varieties such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, it is certain that any wine lover will find something to get excited about.

    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.

    HNYAVDPND06B_2006 Item# 95030

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