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Keller Estate La Cruz Vineyard Pinot Noir 2004

Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    The aromas are a cornucopia of fruit with cherry, raspberries and blueberries and orange alongwith notes of sweet oak, juniper, tobacco and mineral highlights. Cherry, blueberry andmineral are the main flavors with vanilla and sweet oak adding complexity.

    This wine hasimpact on the palate with its intensity, but this is not a flash-in-the-pan style of Pinot. This is anelegant wine built to age gracefully over the medium term, with good acidity, fine tannins andlong finish. While a bit young on release, it will evolve beautifully, and is best enjoyed from2007 – 2012.

    Critical Acclaim

    Keller Estate

    Keller Estate

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    Keller Estate, , California
    Keller Estate
    Keller Estate Winery and Vineyards, owned by the Keller family, is nestled in the Sonoma Coast, Northwest of the Carneros region on Lakeville Highway east of Petaluma not far from the edge of the county. They are the southernmost winery in the Sonoma Coast appellation and the first to establish itself in the Petaluma Valley. The San Pablo Bay lies immediately to the south. To the Northwest lies the Petaluma gap where an opening in the coastal hills allows masses of fog to flow freely towards the Petaluma Valley. This geographical signature is unique and creates a cool and long growing season for Keller Estate's vineyards.

    The winemaking philosophy at Keller Estate is simple: they respect the terrior that is characteristic of this vineyard estate and they minimize the handling and manipulation of the grapes to preserve the quality. They have pursued a blueprint of clonal diversity based on the altitude, orientation and soil composition of each vineyard block that is best for each individual clone. This clonal diversity provides the textures, flavors and aromas with which to build complexity into the wines. Winemaker Michael McNeill spends considerable time in the vineyard, assessing crop levels, canopy management and irrigation timing. However, his most important decision comes from tasting the ripening fruit over and over again – the optimal time to harvest.

    Burgundy

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    A legendary wine region setting the benchmark for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay worldwide, Burgundy is a perennial favorite of many wine lovers. After centuries of winemaking, the Burgundians have determined precisely which grape clone grows best on which plot of land, determined by the soil type, the elevation, and the angle in relation to the sun—this is a region firmly rooted in tradition and the concept of ‘terroir’ reigns supreme here. Because of the Napoleonic Code requiring equal distribution of property and land among all heirs, vineyard ownership in Burgundy is extremely fragmented, with some growers responsible for just one row or even one vine. This system has led to the predominance of the "negociant"—a merchant who purchases fruit from many different growers to vinify and bottle together.

    Burgundy’s cool, marginal climate and Jurassic limestone soils are perfect for the production of elegant, savory, and mineral-driven Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with plenty of acidity. Vintage variation is of particular importance here, as weather conditions can be variable and unpredictable. Spring frost and hail are near-universal risks. The Côte d’Or, a long and narrow escarpment, forms the heart of the region, split into the Côte de Nuits to the north and the Côte de Beaune to the south. The former is home to many of the world’s finest Pinot Noir wines, while Chardonnay plays a much more prominent role in the latter, though outstanding red, white, and rosé are all produced throughout. Other key appellations include the Côte Chalonnaise, home to great value Pinot Noir and sparkling Crémant de Bourgogne; the Mâconnais, producing soft and round inexpensive Chardonnay; and Chablis, the northernmost region of Burgundy and an acidity-lover’s Chardonnay paradise.

    Chardonnay

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    One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

    In the Glass

    When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

    Perfect Pairings

    Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

    Sommelier Secret

    Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

    ALX04PN2_2004 Item# 92745

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