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Copain L'Ete Viognier 2006

Viognier from North Coast, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    Honeysuckle, apricot, grand marnier and light minerally chalk emerge from the glass. Fleshy fresh apricot and candied orange rind flavors are balanced by bright acidity and make this a great wine for the hot days of summer.

    Winemaker Wells Guthrie believes that quality starts with the vineyard. In pursuit of this, Copaín has created and will continue to seek relationships with growers who are committed to what they believe are the key attributes necessary to produce world class wines: vineyard exposition, clonal selections, and dedication to organic farming practices.

    Critical Acclaim

    Copain

    Copain

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    Copain, , California
    Copain
    Copain is dedicated to producing top-quality vineyard designated wines that are complex, varietally correct, and food friendly without being heavy handed.

    Winemaker Wells Guthrie believes that quality starts with the vineyard. In pursuit of this, Copaín has created and will continue to seek relationships with growers who are committed to what they believe are the key attributes necessary to produce world class wines: vineyard exposition, clonal selections, and dedication to organic farming practices.

    In the tradition of great regional village wines from France Wells also produces a series of wine under Copain's Saisons des Vins program. Wines comes from the great regional village wines of France. There are four wines, one for each season of the year. the Varietals are chosen to coincide with the climate and cuisine associated with each. The Rose is for Spring (les printemps) when the weather starts to warm and the picnics begin. The Viognier (formerly Sauvignon Blanc) is crisp and clean for the hot Summer (l'ete) months to accompany the cool salads and dining al fresco. The cooling days of Autumn (l'automne) bring all the earthy fall dishes that call for the perfect Pinot Noir. Finally, Winter (l'hiver), with its cold days beckon for hearty fare and a rich warming Syrah.

    In October, 2004, Copain was named "Most Promising New Winery" in the annual Wine Issue of Food & Wine Magazine. Wells was quoted as saying, "I'm trying to keep one foot here and one in the Rhône, to make wines that hem in the ripe fruit we get here and have the elegance of great European wines."

    Famous for its food-friendly, approachable wines and their storied history, Chianti is perhaps the best-known wine region of Italy. This sub-zone of Tuscany has it all—sweeping views of undulating hills, the hot Mediterranean sun, hearty cuisine, and a rich artistic heritage. Historically packaged in short, round, straw-covered bottles known as “fiaschi” and containing insipid red liquid, Chianti today is typically not your Italian grandfather’s pizza wine. The heart of the Chianti zone is known as Chianti Classico, as the region has expanded its boundaries over time to capitalize on the wine’s fame, thus diluting its reputation. Within Chianti there are seven other subzones with unique characteristics, including Colli Senesi, Colli Fiorentini, and Chianti Rufina.

    Chianti wines are made primarily of Sangiovese, with other varieties comprising up to 20% of the blend. Generally, local varieties are used, including Canaiolo, Mammolo, and Marzemino, but international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah have also been approved in more recent years. Basic, inexpensive Chianti is simple and fruit-forward and makes a great companion to any casual dinner involving red sauce. At its apex, it is savory and rustic with high acidity, firm tannins, and notes of tart red fruit, dried herbs, fennel, salami, balsamic vinegar, and smoky tobacco. Chianti Riserva, typically the top bottling of a producer, can benefit handsomely from a decade or two of cellaring.

    Sangiovese

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    The perfect intersection of bright fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is the backbone variety in Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Elsewhere throughout Italy, it can make inexpensive wines for daily consumption ranging from inoffensive to deliciously easy. On the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed moderate popularity in California and Washington State over the last few decades.

    In the Glass

    Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with savory flavors of tart cherry, plum, tomato, fresh tobacco, anise, thyme, oregano, and dried earth. High-quality, well-aged examples will take on notes of smoke, clay pot, leather, gamey meat, potpourri, and dried fruits. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.

    Perfect Pairings

    Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and grainy tannins create an affinity with tomato-based dishes, spicy meats, and anything off the barbecue.

    Sommelier Secret

    Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines (with price tags to match) that are typically monovarietal or a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.

    PSLCCP078_2006 Item# 91540

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