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Flat front label of wine

Dom. St. George STG Santa Maria Pinot Noir 1996

Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
    0% ABV
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    0% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    This is a full, plummy wine with classic Pinot Noir earthiness; it has good weight in the mouth with excellent balance and a long finish.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Dom. St. George

    Domaine St. George

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    Domaine St. George, Central Coast, California
    The Domaine Saint George vineyards date back to 1928, when Giovanni Cambiaso found an ideal tract of land in Sonoma County above the Russian River and planted a vineyard. Since then the soils and microclimates of Sonoma County have been discovered to offer ideal growing conditions for premium wine grapesThe Cambiaso Winery, founded in 1934, was renamed the Domaine Saint George Winery in 1986 following the introduction and extraordinary popularity of that brand. The vineyards were replanted in 1995 to select clones of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. In outstanding vintages, an estate-bottled Cabernet Sauvignon is produced from the "home" vineyard, a wine that typically sells out upon release. The 1994 vintage of this STG Russian River Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was named "The Best Red Wine of the Year" by the noted syndicated wine writer Jerry D. Mead. The vineyards at Domaine Saint George have a history which parallels that of Sonoma County as a source of world-class varietal wines.

    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.

    HEI2181105_1996 Item# 16988