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A.P. Vin Clos Pepe Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007

Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • WS91
  • RP93
  • WS90
  • RP91
  • WS91
  • RP94
  • WS92
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Winemaker Notes

The color of this wine is about as dense as Pinot is allowed to get before the Pinot police force arrives. The nose is almost impenetrable at first, but if you give it enough time in the glass, some fruit will make a guest appearance. The palate is equally firm with high tannin and very good acidity. A nice flavor of new oak comes though.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 91
Wine Spectator

Intense and spicy, with vivid black cherry and wild berry fruit that's pure and focused, elegant and stylish. Medium-bodied, this sustains its fruity character on the long, lingering finish.

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A.P. Vin

A.P. Vin

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A.P. Vin, , California
A.P. Vin
A.P. VIN was established in 2003 to fulfill the dream of its owner, Andrew P. Vingiello. After taking his first sip of artisinal California pinot noir he set out to learn as much as he could about this unique style of bold, complex wine. In 2003 Andrew worked his first wine harvest and found that his passion for handcrafted wine extended beyond just consuming it. Andrew created the very first vintage of A.P. VIN in 2003 from Garys' Vineyard. While only 150 cases were produced, it was enough to win the acclain of well-known publications. The name A.P. VIN orginiates from Andrew's name (Andrew P. Vingiello) and the logo represents his signature on each bottle produced.

While managing to keep his day job during production of the first few vintages of A.P. VIN, it was in 2005 that Andrew decided to fully dedicate himself and his career to his passion for creating unique wines. Shortly thereafter, Andrew moved his production and winemaking from Lompoc to San Francisco, where he could tend to the wines closer to his home.

Today, A.P. VIN produces approximately 2,000 cases of vineyard-designate pinot noir and is focused on making wines of the highest quality, which Andrew believes starts in the vineyard. From the vineyard and row locations to the farming style of each grower, every element adds nuances and subtleties that result in a superior wine.

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, Picpoul, 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.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

DRSCLOPEPE_2007 Item# 122767

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