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Beringer Knights Valley Alluvium Blanc 2006

Bordeaux White Blends from Sonoma County, California
  • WS92
  • W&S92
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Winemaker Notes

The 2006 Alluvium Blanc is predominantly Semillion (47%) and Sauvignon Blanc (43%) with small amounts of Chardonnay (8%) and Viognier (2%). All of the Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon lots were barrel fermented in French Nevers oak and stirred on the lees twice a month during barrel aging because Laurie wanted a round, lush mouthfeel in the wine and vanilla, nutty-toasty oak aromas and flavors.

Nearly all of the wine was aged in new and once used French oak (1/3 new) for eight months in an effort to create a good balance between the fruit flavors and oak nuances. The wines underwent malolactic fermentation (90%) to bring a creaminess that balances the crisp acidity of the Sauvignon Blanc. After nine months aging, Laurie blended in the Chardonnay to add structure and lushness, along with Viognier to enhance the honeysuckle aromas.

"The proprietary Alluvium name pays homage to the alluvial soils of Knights Valley. We select the best blend of white varietals from vintage to vintage. For the 2006 Alluvium Blanc, bright citrus, nectarine and melon aromas lead into a mouthcoating creaminess balanced by bright fruit characteristics with hints of toasty oak, honey and lemon zest. This wine reminds me of a fig tart with just a touch of sweetness."
—Laurie Hook, Winemaker

Critical Acclaim

WS 92
Wine Spectator

W&S 92
Wine & Spirits

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Beringer

Beringer Vineyards

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Beringer Vineyards, , California
Beringer
No winery or vineyard more thoroughly embodies the timeless appeal and seductive flavor of Napa Valley than Beringer Vineyards, Napa's benchmark producer since the establishment of the vineyard in 1876.

Now in its third century of crafting classic wines from Napa's finest appellations and vineyards, Beringer today is guided by the inspired partnership of celebrated Winemaster Emeritus Ed Sbragia and Winemaker Laurie Hook. Together, they craft Napa Valley wines that speak eloquently of the rich heritage of the Beringer Vineyard, while offering cutting-edge quality and contemporary elegance. The exquisite wines crafted at the Beringer Vineyards display a single minded dedication and pursuit of excellence instilled by its founder, Jacob Beringer.

Burgundy

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A legendary wine region setting the benchmark for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay worldwide...

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A legendary wine region setting the benchmark for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay worldwide, Burgundy is a perennial favorite of many wine lovers. After centuries of winemaking, the Burgundians have determined precisely which grape clone grows best on which plot of land, determined by the soil type, the elevation, and the angle in relation to the sun—this is a region firmly rooted in tradition and the concept of ‘terroir’ reigns supreme here. Because of the Napoleonic Code requiring equal distribution of property and land among all heirs, vineyard ownership in Burgundy is extremely fragmented, with some growers responsible for just one row or even one vine. This system has led to the predominance of the ‘negociant’—a merchant who purchases fruit from many different growers to vinify and bottle together.

Burgundy’s cool, marginal climate and Jurassic limestone soils are perfect for the production of elegant, savory, and mineral-driven Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with plenty of acidity. Vintage variation is of particular importance here, as weather conditions can be variable and unpredictable. Spring frost and hail are near-universal risks. The Côte d’Or, a long and narrow escarpment, forms the heart of the region, split into the Côte de Nuits to the north and the Côte de Beaune to the south. The former is home to many of the world’s finest Pinot Noir wines, while Chardonnay plays a much more prominent role in the latter, though outstanding red, white, and rosé are all produced throughout. Other key appellations include the Côte Chalonnaise, home to great value Pinot Noir and sparkling Crémant de Bourgogne; the Mâconnais, producing soft and round inexpensive Chardonnay; and Chablis, the northernmost region of Burgundy and an acidity-lover’s Chardonnay paradise.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow...

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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.

SWS183229_2006 Item# 92497

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