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Fox Run Vineyards Reserve Pinot Noir 1998

Pinot Noir from New York
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    Winemaker Notes

    Another classic Pinot from our own plantings. An attractive perfumed nose of violets and dark berries leads into flavors of cherry and spice, with soft, velvety tannins.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Fox Run Vineyards

    Fox Run Vineyards

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    Fox Run Vineyards, New York
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    Winemaker at Fox Run since the summer of 1995, Peter Bell shares owners Scott Osborn and Andy Hale's conviction that the Vinifera revolution is still a young one. With proper clone and rootstock selection, trellising systems and cellar refinements, the world will begin to take notice of the superior wines of which the Finger Lakes region is capable. Born and raised in Canada, Bell began his winemaking career in Australia, where he earned a degree in Enology at Charles Stuart University in New South Wales, where he also worked in the school's own winery. Upon graduation he became assistant winemaker for Hunter's Wines in New Zealand, producing Chardonnay, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc and experimenting with Pinot Noir. Leaving New Zealand, he turned down offers from Portugal and British Columbia in favor of the natural beauty and outstanding potential of the Finger Lakes. For five years he was winemaker at Dr. Konstantin Frank's Vinifera Wine Cellars on Keuka Lake where he made a number of award-winning wines. For Bell, the flip side of laissez-faire winemaking is the risk involved. The art is to know when not to do something to the wine, to apply a sort of benign neglect, yet to be ready to intervene when a hands-off approach would be disastrous. He describes himself as "extremely fussy" about hygiene -- "spoilage organisms are invisible and ubiquitous" -- and about minimizing oxygen contact, especially with aromatic wines, during racking, filtration, and bottling.

    New York

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    Increasingly garnering widespread and well-deserved attention, New York ranks third in wine production in the United States (after California and Washington). Divided into six AVAs—the Finger Lakes, Lake Erie, Hudson River, Long Island, Champlain Valley of New York and the Niagara Escarpment, which crosses over into Michigan as well as Ontario, Canada—the state experiences varied climates, but in general summers are warm and humid while winters are very cold and can carry the risk of frost well into the growing season.

    The Finger Lakes region has long been responsible for some of the country’s finest Riesling, and is gaining traction with elegant, light-bodied Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc. Experimentation with cold-hardy European varieties is common, and recent years have seen the successful planting of grapes like Grüner Veltliner and Saperavi (from the Eastern European country of Georgia). Long Island, on the other hand, has a more maritime climate influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, and shares some viticultural characteristics with Bordeaux. Accordingly, the best wines here are made from Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The Niagara Escarpment is responsible for excellent ice wines, usually made from the hybrid variety, Vidal.

    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.

    CSF24265_1998 Item# 18080