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Elke Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 2000

Pinot Noir from North Coast, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    The aromas and flavors are of rich plums and hints of black cherry fruit over a distinct cedar/spice backbone. Medium body with a lengthy, velvety finish.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Elke
    Elke, North Coast, California
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    Elke Vineyards is a small, family-owned vineyard and winery. They started growing grapes over thirty years ago, and continute to value that connection to the land. Elke has prized vineyards in Anderson and Napa Valleys, and grows grapes for a number of celebrated Pinot Noir and sparkling wine houses, such as Roederer Estate, Au Bon Climat, Far Niente, Saintsbury, and Goldeneye.

    In 1997, Elke began to save some of their favorite Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay grapes for their own wines. They produce limited quantities of each wine, using traditional, handcrafted winemaking at the winery in Anderson Valley. This type of winemaking allows Elke's wines to be "wines of a place," meaning that they will speak to you of where the grapes were grown, and the conditions under which they grew.

    North Coast

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    Reaching up California's coastline and into its valleys north of San Francisco, the North Coast AVA includes six counties: Marin, Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake. While Napa and Sonoma enjoy most of the glory, the rest produce no shortage of quality wines in an intriguing and diverse range of styles.

    Climbing up the state's rugged coastline, the chilly Marin County, just above the City and most of Sonoma County, as well as Mendocino County on the far north end of the North Coast successfully grow cool-climate varieties like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and in some spots, Riesling. Inland Lake County, on the other hand, is considerably warmer, and Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc produce some impressive wines with affordable price tags.

    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.

    DWD75_2000 Item# 74012