New Customers Save $30 off $100+* with code SEPTNEW30
New Customers Save $30* with code SEPTNEW30
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Evening Land Vineyards Eola-Amity Hills Seven Springs Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007
Long a source for benchmark Oregon Pinot Noir, the Seven Springs Vineyard is now a 'monopole' vineyard estate. Seven Springs was first planted in 1981. Occupying the "belly" of an easy-facing ridge in the Eola Hills of Oregon's Willamette Valley, the soils of Seven Springs spring from the mineral rich red volcanic rock and are planted to a mix of Oregon Heritage and Dijon clones. Winemaker: Isabelle Meunier with Dominique Lafon, consulting winemaker.
The Seven Springs Vineyard Estate Pinot Noir comes from a selection of old and new plantings in each corner of the vineyard. The vines that produce this wine sit in classic red Jory soils typical of both the Eola Hills and the Dundee Hills of Oregon. The root system enjoys a roomy 5 feet or more of topsoil before hitting the underlying volcanic rock shelf.
Bright and juicy, with lively acidity and a streak of distinctive minerality running through the raspberry and floral flavors, lingering on the refined finish. Best from 2010 through 2014. 1,519 cases made.
The 2007 Pinot Noir La Source Seven Springs Vineyard was aged in a larger percentage of new oak. It exhibits a similar bouquet but greater structure and sweeter fruit on the palate. Ripe, concentrated, and with a masculine personality, it will benefit from 2-3 years of additional cellaring and offer prime drinking from 2011 to 2019.
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.
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.
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.
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.