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La Fenetre Bien Nacido Pinot Noir 2010

Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
    13.9% ABV
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    13.9% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Brick red, the nose smells of cranberry, muddled strawberry, and freshly baked nutmeg cookies. On the palate it is classic Santa Maria Valley pinot noir with flavors of strawberry, rose petal, sour cherry and an earthy character that might fool some at first blush into guessing it an old-world wine. The finish is slightly smoky with hints of vanilla and baking spice.

    Critical Acclaim

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    La Fenetre

    La Fenetre Wines

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    La Fenetre Wines, California
    "I founded La Fenêtre in 2005 after repeated trips to the Santa Barbara County wine country. After working with the wines professionally as a sommelier, and then visiting the winemakers and the places I loved it was time to get my hands dirty. I chose Santa Barbara because of its unique terroir which allows me to produce a range of varietals in a classic style." -Joshua Klapper

    Having apprenticed with some of California and the world’s best winemakers, namely Jim Clendenen (Au Bon Climat), Bob Lindquist (Qupé), and Jim Adelman (Makor) a classic technique and delicate hand is always employed in the winery. All grapes are harvested around 23.5 brix (13.5-14% Alc.). Wherever possible, La Fenêtre is committed to sustainable, organic, and biodynamic vineyard practices. Reds are destemmed into 1½ ton fermenters and punched down by hand until dry. The free run juice is then collected, the must is gently pressed, and the wine is aged in small French barrels for 11-23 months before being bottled. Whites are whole cluster pressed, allowed to settle for one day and fermented in barrel where they undergo the alcoholic fermentation and then 100% Malolactic fermentation. They then spend 11-18 months in small French barrels before being bottled.

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    Santa Maria Valley

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    A lesser-known but elite AVA within the larger Santa Barbara district, the Santa Maria Valley AVA runs precisely west to east starting near the coast. The valley funnels cool, Pacific Ocean air to the vineyards more inland, allowing grapes a longer hang time to ripen evenly and achieve their full potential by harvest time. Combined with minimal rainfall, consistent warm sunshine, and well-drained soils, it is an ideal environment for grape growing.

    Many of the wineries here are small and highly respected, having established a reputation in the 1970s and 80s for producing excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. More recently, Syrah has also proven quite successful in the region. Many vineyards are owned by growers who sell their grapes to other wineries, so it is common to see the same vineyard name on bottlings from different wineries. Bien Nacido Vineyard is perhaps the best-known and most prestigious.

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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.

    SPRLFAPNBNV10C_2010 Item# 136083