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Kazmer & Blaise Carneros Pinot Noir 2001

Pinot Noir from Napa Valley, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    Flavors of ripe plum, cherry and blackberry undeniably identify this Kazmer & Blaise wine as Pinot Noir, while the conifer forest aroma points to the Carneros appellation. Roasted meat, sage and sweet pipe tobacco speak to the time the infant wine spent in barrels as it finished fermentation. White pepper and clove spice may originate in the hard soils and marginal climate in the Tokaj forest. And finally, the soft coat of tannin provides a velvet sweet weight to the mouth-feel and owes its presence to the vintage and the vineyard.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Kazmer & Blaise

    Kazmer & Blaise

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    Kazmer & Blaise, Napa Valley, California
    Our vineyard has been in Peter (Kazmer) Molnar’s family since the early Seventies. Carneros soils began as the bed under San Pablo Bay. The silt of marine plants and animals decomposing over time, integrating with the finest particles of eroded rock, became clay. This dark and heavy soil comprises most of the vineyard land in Carneros, but as the bay retreated and the drainage of Napa and Sonoma Valley cut through the clay, deposits of pebbles accumulated on the embankments. It is one such patch that lies under our vineyard.

    Kazmer & Blaise Pinot Noir distinguishes itself within the Carneros appellation. A gravelly vineyard makes for better drainage and reduces soil compaction to allow deeper root penetration. With its roots seeking nutrients and water below the clay layer, the vine expresses its circumstance with unique flavors.

    Our winemaking approach is informed by Burgundian tradition but tailored to the unique fruit of our vineyard and to the Carneros climate. Farming and winemaking in California have evolved to accommodate the generous growing conditions in which we thrive. Where Californian winemaking previously emulated the techniques that suited the cooler climate of Burgundy, we recently have redefined tradition. Both in the vineyard and cellar our approach acknowledges and embraces the differences between the old and the new worlds.

    Napa Valley

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    One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

    Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

    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.

    KBCKBPN01_2001 Item# 59682