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Kazmer & Blaise Carneros Pinot Noir 2002

Pinot Noir from Napa Valley, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    Kazmer & Blaise Cellar is the partnership of vineyard owner Peter K. Molnar and winemaker Michael B. Terrien. We produce only a small amount of Pinot Noir from the seven acre Primo's Hill Vineyard planted by the Molnar family in the early Seventies. At twenty-seven years old, Primo's Hill is a mature vineyard with a legacy of delicious wines.

    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. 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.

    Kazmer & Blaise Primo's Hill 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.

    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 as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960's, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

    The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

    Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those is the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of 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.

    KBCPINOTNOIR_2002 Item# 81876