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New Customers Save $30 off $100+* with code MARCHNEW30

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Chalone Estate Pinot Noir 2005

Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
  • CG90
0% ABV
  • WW92
  • WE92
  • WE92
  • WE90
  • WS90
  • WS88
  • WS88
  • W&S90
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Winemaker Notes

Perched high in the remote Gavilan Mountain Range, 1,800 feet above Salinas Valley, Chalone Vineyard is a one-of-a-kind wine estate. This is extreme wine country with rare limestone soils, limited rainfall and wide diurnal temperature swings. The unique terroir produces wine that imparts a subtle mineral character with compelling fruit and richness. By California standards, Chalone Vineyard's grape yields are small (less than three tons per acre), but the grapes from this vineyard achieve homogeneity of ripeness and display intense character and superb balance.

The new Pinot Noir clones, planted in 1997, are really showing their potential with the 2005 vintage. The wine is darkly colored and amazingly opulent, with fantastic fruit intensity leaning toward red cherries and strawberries. Firm in body, with big tannins, this wine has amazing texture and length of finish. The ten months it spent in French oak integrated the fruit and tannins into a truly hedonistic glass of wine.

Pair with roasted turkey, seared duck with cherry sauce, grilled salmon and wild mushroom risotto.

Critical Acclaim

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CG 90
Connoisseurs' Guide
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Chalone Vineyard

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Chalone Vineyard, Central Coast, California
2005 Estate Pinot Noir
Perched high on the western slopes of the remote Gavilan Mountain Range on Mount Chalone, 1,800 feet above California's Salinas Valley, Chalone Vineyard represents a singular convergence of terroir and winemaking. Originally planted in 1919, the vineyard's ability to yield benchmark Chardonnay was discovered when Chalone Wine Group co-founder, Dick Graff, made his first vintage there in 1966. The time-honored Burgundian techniques he introduced complement the fruit's character to create the bouquet and flavors that are Chalone Vineyard Chardonnay's hallmarks. Chalone Vineyard's other estate-grown wines are equally distinctive. Chalone also produces Pinot Noir, Syrah, Pinot Blanc and Chenin Blanc.

Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of the state's wine. The sprawling district covers most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara from the coast inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley. Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types, and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including Monterey, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, and Santa Cruz Mountains.

Just about every major international grape variety is planted within this vast AVA, from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. A significant proportion of the region’s produce is generic, inexpensive bulk wine, but the Central Coast is also home to many small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as everything in between.

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.

PIM002461_2005 Item# 89416