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Cuvaison Pinot Noir 2009

Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
  • W&S90
13.5% ABV
  • WE91
  • WE90
  • WE91
  • WE90
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Cuvaison's Carneros Pinot Noir comes from their 400-acre estate in the southern part of Napa Valley. This cool climate vineyard allows near perfect conditions year after year to produce world class Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot. Controlling all farming aspects within their own vineyard gives Cuvaison an advantage in producing the best quality fruit therefore minimizing over manipulation at the winery. Winemaker Steven Rogstad sums it up best, "My style and philosophy are based on expressing the unique character of our estate grapes and doing as little as possible to them. When one has such wonderful fruit to work with, that should be one's emphasis."

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 90
Wine & Spirits
Lush scents of kirsch emerge from the initial dark and juicy flavors. This is sleek and soft, its tannins layering mineral detail over the velvet texture. A rich pinot to serve with roast squab.
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Cuvaison

Cuvaison Winery

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Cuvaison Winery, Carneros, California
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Established in 1969, Cuvaison produces Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown exclusively on its estate vineyard in the heart of the world-renown region of Carneros in Napa Valley. Cooled by fog from the San Pablo Bay, the rolling hills of this certified sustainable estate has produced distinctive Chardonnay and Pinot Noir for over 30 years. Dedicated to a philosophy of producing vineyard-driven wines, Cuvaison employs block by block farming methods and a hand-crafted vineyard-to-bottle winemaking approach. The resulting wines are balanced and complex, showcasing the distinctive characteristics of this cool climate estate. Cuvaison is part of Cuvaison Estate Wines, the family-owned Napa Valley vintner which also farms Brandlin Vineyard, a Napa Valley estate on Mt. Veeder.

Carneros

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Known for elegant wines that combine power and finesse, Carneros is set in the rolling hills that straddle the southernmost parts of both Sonoma and Napa counties. The cooling winds from the abutting San Pablo Bay, combined with lots of midday California sunshine, create an ideal environment for producing wines with a perfect balance of crisp acidity and well-ripened fruit.

This cooler pocket of California lends itself to growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. Carneros is an important source of sparkling wines made in the style of Champagne as well.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.

PIN243065_2009 Item# 109498