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Etude Heirloom Pinot Noir 2006

Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
  • WE95
14.3% ABV
  • RP90
  • WS92
  • WE90
  • RP93
  • WE94
  • WE96
  • RP90
  • RP92
  • BH90
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3.7 3 Ratings
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3.7 3 Ratings
14.3% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This open and inviting Pinot Noir begins with aromas of rose petal, black tea, tart cherry and spice. The rich fruit flavors and vibrant acidity keep the wine well-lifted on the palate. The round, fine-grained tannins and wonderful oak integration carry through on the finish, which is persistent with hints of orange zest and minerality. This young wine will continue to evolve for several more years and promises exceptional complexity and age-worthiness.

All the fruit in this Pinot Noir is grown on the Etude Estate Vineyards in Carneros and comes from shy-bearing selections with a marked tendency to produce small, irregularly shaped bunches and very small berries. Growers typically hold such vines in low regard due to their inability to produce consistent crops. This tenuous economic viability threatens their existence.

Heirloom Pinot Noir is made in small lots using the most traditional techniques, with no fining or filtration. New French oak barrels are employed for aging each vintage. Approximately 1,000 cases of the 2006 vintage were produced from these very restrictive sources.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 95
Wine Enthusiast
Big, powerful, soft, rich and ageable. In other words, classic Etude Heirloom. Resembles the rich 2002, with massive flavors of cherries, rasp-berries, cocoa, anise, bacon and smoky sandal-wood. Enormously complex, a wine that changes with every sip as it breathes and warms. Shows the density of Cabernet, with Pinot's silkiness.
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Etude
Etude, Sonoma County, California
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The underlying philosophy at Etude Wines is that winemaking begins in the vineyard, long before the grapes are harvested. Winemaker, Jon Priest, believes that superior grape growing diminishes the need for intervention by the winemaker, resulting in authentic varietal expression.

Sonoma County

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for nearly every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa, the region only produces about half the amount of wine, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in both quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River and Sonoma Valleys, Carneros, and Fort Ross-Seaview. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

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.

ACB98128_2006 Item# 98128