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Garnet Monterey Pinot Noir 2013

Pinot Noir from Monterey, Central Coast, California
    13.6% ABV
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    4.3 7 Ratings
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    4.3 7 Ratings
    13.6% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    The Monterey Pinot Noir is blended from a few acres in each of four vineyards scattered along benchlands near the Santa Lucia Highlands that are subject to the cool, foggy influence of Monterey Bay. It is a Pinot with elegance and extract, but also with a lush body and silky texture. Aromas include ripe blackberries, cherry preserves, vanilla hazelnuts and toasted French oak. I love the velvety richness of the attack. The flavors of dark red fruits and exotic spices just make this a juicy, delicious mouthful of wine.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Garnet

    Garnet

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    Garnet, Monterey, Central Coast, California
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    Garnet has long set the standard for style and value in "New World" Pinot Noir. The debut 1983 vintage was an immediate hit with Pinot Noir drinkers (a fairly small group at the time) looking for a wine with the right combination of freshness and extract, grace and length. With a tip of the hat to the Côte De Beaune, Garnet is a distinctly California wine, with silky texture and pure, vibrant flavors.

    Garnet Vineyards Alison Crowe is a UC Davis enology graduate who grew up on the Santa Barbara Coast. She spent her first harvest at Chalone Vineyard where she discovered and developed a passion for Pinot Noir. Following stints at Byington and Bonny Doon, Alison worked alongside Michel Rolland at Bodegas Salentein in Argentina. At Garnet Vineyards, Alison puts this significant experience to work with a minimalist winemaking philosophy. "Give your wine a gentle nudge only when necessary. Sometimes all you need to do is get out of the way."

    Monterey

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    A geographic and climatic paradise for grape vines, Monterey is a part of the greater Central Coast AVA and contains within it five smaller sub-appellations, including Arroyo Seco, San Lucas, San Bernabe, Hames Valley and the famous Santa Lucia Highlands. The climate is relatively warm but tempered by cool, coastal winds, allowing the regions in Monterey County an exceptionally long growing season. Bud break often happens two weeks sooner and harvest tends to be two weeks later compared to other surrounding regions.

    Monterey’s coastal side, where the cooling ocean fog allows grapes to develop a perfect sugar-acid balance, excels in the production of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling. Warmer, inland subzones are home to fleshy, concentrated and full-bodied reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Zinfandel.

    Chardonnay, covering about 40% of vineyard acreage, is the most widely planted grape in all of Monterey County.

    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.

    SOU243457_2013 Item# 134118