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Alderbrook Winery Pinot Noir 1999

Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
  • W&S92
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

The grapes for our 1999 Pinot Noir were sourced from four vineyards in the Russian River Valley. The growing season for 1999 was one of the longest in recent memory. The mild summer and cool fall resulted in later than usual harvesting. "Cold-soaking" of the grapes in tank prior to Open-top tank style fermentation enabled the extraction of maximum flavor and suppleness in this wine.

The fruit component invites comparison to strawberry and raspberry jam. The imaginative taster will also find other classic Pinot noir flavors like a hint of mushroom, leather, and forest floor that adds a complex "earthiness" without muting the fruit expression. The top note is a delicate vanilla oak from aging in French Oak barrels to brighten the wine.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 92
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Alderbrook Winery

Alderbrook Winery

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Alderbrook Winery, Sonoma County, California
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Situated on the outskirts of the city of Healdsburg in California's Sonoma County, the Alderbrook estate is located at the southernmost tip of the Dry Creek Valley, within a stone's throw of the Russian River. On a road map this might not seem significant, but in the world of fine wine, this location is considered one of the best in the region. While technically located in the Dry Creek Valley appellation, the official border of the Russian River Valley appellation begins close to Alderbrook's 65-acre estate, giving the winery a unique position at the confluence of these two valleys.

Not only does the estate vineyard receive the afternoon heat that is typical of Dry Creek Valley weather patterns, but the cool night air creeping up the Russian River Valley from the Pacific Ocean produces evening and early morning fog, cooling the vines. Alderbrook's vineyard enjoys the luxury of extended "hang time." This produces more mature fruit resulting in rich, full-bodied flavor characteristics: qualities which are ultimately apparent in the wines.

"The blend of climates is a gift, and our estate vines benefit tremendously from the unique weather conditions," says general manager, George Christie. Our incredible location at the junction of these two appellations gives us the perfect raw materials for wine making."

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.

SOU82593_1999 Item# 45529