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Garnet Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    14.7% ABV
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    14.7% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Clove and sweet vanilla aromas give way to a powerful rush of dried cherries and ripe blackberries. Classic Pinot Noir characters of mushroom, earth and baking spices pair with supple tannins and dark fruit flavors. Layers of aromatic French oak and a velvety mouth feel drive a rich and dynamic finish.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Garnet

    Garnet

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    Garnet, 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."

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    Sonoma Coast

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    A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs all the way from the Mendocino County border, south to the San Pablo Bay. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the actual coastal vineyards, marked by marine soils, cool temperatures and saline ocean breezes—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, which are still heavily influenced by the Pacific but not quite with same intensity.

    Contained within the appellation are the much smaller Fort Ross-Seaview and Petaluma Gap AVAs.

    The Sonoma Coast is highly regarded for elegant Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and, increasingly, cool-climate Syrah. The wines have high acidity, moderate alcohol, firm tannin, and balanced ripeness.

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    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, not Pinot noir. 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 Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

    SWS347429_2012 Item# 149674