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Flat front label of wine

Kuleto Estate Pinot Noir 1999

Pinot Noir from Napa Valley, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    The fruit for this handcrafted Pinot Noir came from 2 steep hillside plantings: "Paloma Block" and "Pioneer Block". Both plantings feature rugged terrain of fractured Franciscan shale and are cooled nightly by air inversions from nearby Clear Creek.

    This was a high quality, low-yield harvest (less than 1 ton per acre!) and was all hand-picked and hand-pressed using restored antique basket presses. The wine was aged for 11 months in French oak, and then bottle aged a further 9 months.

    The results speak for themselves: Deeply extracted and full-bodied, with smoky, ripe, berry aromas... wonderfully concentrated floral, spice, mocha and dark cherry flavors linger effortlessly on a silky, elegant finish.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Kuleto Estate

    Kuleto Estate

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    Kuleto Estate, Napa Valley, California
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    In 1992, culinary entrepreneur Pat Kuleto assembled five parcels from cattle ranchers to create a 761-acre ranch of wild hillside land on the eastern edge of the Napa Valley, overlooking Lake Hennessey, Pritchard Hill and the towns of Rutherford and St. Helena.

    Plantings included cabernet sauvignon, sangiovese, pinot noir, chardonnay, syrah, zinfandel and muscat, planted at elevations ranging from 800 to 1450 feet. Construction of the state-of-the-art Kuleto-designed winery was finished in 2001, completing the vineyard estate that had grown to include extensive orchards, gardens, and a working ranch with sheep, fowl, cattle and fish from the property’s Lake Brunello.

    Winemaker Dave Lattin and vineyard manager Alberto Ochoa individually cultivate and craft the small vineyard blocks at every stage of their development, focusing on lots as small as half a ton. Kuleto Estate is crafting excellent wines of character and distinction that reflect the remarkable attributes of their unique terroir.

    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.

    KVWPINOTNOIR_1999 Item# 40048