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Baileyana Firepeak Pinot Noir 2010

Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
  • RP91
  • TP90
14.5% ABV
  • WE92
  • WW91
  • WE92
  • TP92
  • WW91
  • WE90
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4.3 3 Ratings
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4.3 3 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This is a big Pinot, with great acid structure, but soft, smooth tannins. Aromas are of anise, cola and deep dark cherry along with smoky barrel notes. Flavors of candied cherry and red licorice are followed by a spicy mid-palate and a nice vanillin, faintly smoky finish.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2010 Pinot Noir Grand Firepeak Cuvee boasts gorgeous density and sheer power. Black cherries, menthol, cloves and licorice all take shape in this intense, virile yet beautifully balanced Pinot. Stylistically, this is a California version of Nuits St. Georges. The 2010 spent nine months in French oak barrels, 40% new.
TP 90
Tasting Panel
Deep ruby color; smooth texture with black cherry and spice; round, ripe and crisp with tangy acidity; quite lovely
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Baileyana

Baileyana

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Baileyana, , California
Baileyana
Over 30 years ago, an incredibly smart and spirited woman planted a 3 acre vineyard on her home property in the Edna Valley. Diving without hesitation into a male-dominated industry, Catharine Niven later set out to create authentic, complex yet elegant wines. Named for the place she met her husband Jack, Baileyana offers beautiful, cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Both are refined, rich, and perfectly balanced. She wasn’t entirely surprised by Baileyana’s early success, but Catharine didn’t dream that her small project would become the family legacy that it is today. Now in the expert hands of the next two generations, Baileyana wines remain true to her pioneering spirit, as well as to the genuine, elegant style she exuded when walking into any room. Boldly Beautiful.

By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza is divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley—two sources of some of the country’s finest wines.

For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec, originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s. Here it found success and renown it never could have achieved in its homeland due to its struggle to ripen fully in finicky climates. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and often blended with one another. The best white wines are made from Chardonnay, and there are excellent examples to be found as well from Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc, and Sémillon.

Known for its big, bold flavors and supple texture, Malbec is most famous for its runaway success in Argentina. However, the variety actually originates in Bordeaux, where it historically contributed color and tannin to blends but was susceptible to viticultural problems. After being nearly wiped out by a devastating frost in 1956, it was never significantly replanted, although it did flourish under the name Côt in nearby Cahors. Malbec was brought to Argentina in 1868 by a French agronomist who saw great potential for the variety in Mendoza’s hot, high-altitude landscape, but did not gain its current reputation as the national grape of Argentina until a surge in popularity in the late 20th century thanks to its easy-going drinkability.

In the Glass

Malbec typically expresses deep flavors of freshly turned earth, black fruits from berries to plums, and licorice, appropriately backed by dense, chewy tannins. In warmer, New World regions, such as Mendoza, it can be quite intense and often needs time to mellow before becoming drinkable. In the Old World, its rusticity shines, with aged examples showing dusty notes of leather and tobacco. The best examples in all regions often possess a beguiling bouquet of violets.

Perfect Parings

Malbec’s rustic character begs for flavorful dishes, like spicy grilled sausages or the classic cassoulet of France’s Southwest. South American iterations are best enjoyed as they would be in Argentina: with a thick, juicy steak.

Sommelier Secret

If you’re trying to please a crowd, Malbec is generally a safe bet. With its combination of bold flavors and soft tannins, it will appeal to basically anyone who enjoys red wine. Malbec also wins bonus points for affordability, as even the most inexpensive examples are often quite good.

CWC967151_2010 Item# 123019

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