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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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    An often-overlooked wine-producing state that has recently begun to garner widespread attention, New York trails significantly behind California and Washington in volume produced but is ahead of Oregon. The vast majority of its produce is dedicated to large-scale production of wines made from Vitis labrusca and French-American hybrid varieties, like the common table grape Concord. The quality of New York’s best wines, however, should not be underestimated. Divided into six AVAs—the Finger Lakes, Lake Erie, Hudson River, Long Island, Champlain Valley of New York, and Niagara Escarpment, which crosses over the borders into Michigan as well as Ontario, Canada—the state experiences varied climates, but in general summers are warm and humid while winters are 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. 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 hybrid variety Vidal.

    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.

    CSF24265_1998 Item# 18080