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Les Cretes Pinot Noir 2010

Pinot Noir from Italy
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    Winemaker Notes

    Ruby red color with garnet highlights. Strawberry, soft herb and slight red grapefruit nose. Medium to full bodied on the palate with classic Pinot Noir fruit. Mouthwatering and well integrated acid palate and soft, supple tannins on the pleasantly lingering finish.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Les Cretes

    Les Cretes

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    Les Cretes, Italy
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    Founded in 1989 by Costantino Charrere and Jolanda Plat, Les Cretes is one of only a few commercial wineries in the quaint region of Valle D'Aosta. The winery is located in Aymavilles with the cellar lying one mile from Monte Bianco tunnel. Comprised of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah, as well as the indigenous varieties of Petit Rouge, Fumin, Petite Arvine and Gros Rouge, thirteen hectares of vineyard in five communes along the river Dora Baltea. The hills of Coteau La Tour are the most precious single vineyard of the winery, and one of the most beautiful in all of Valle d’Aosta. Their most famous wine is the rich barrel-fermented Chardonnay Cuvee Bois, with the 2002 vintage having recieved the Tre Bicchieri,Duemila Vini 5 Grappoli, and the Cinque Bottiglie awards. Untill recently, their entire anual production of a few thousand cases was sold entirely within Italy.

    Named “Oenotria” by the ancient Greeks for its abundance of grapevines, Italy has always had a culture that is virtually inextricable from wine. Wine grapes are grown just about everywhere throughout the country—a long and narrow boot-shaped peninsula extending into the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas. The defining geographical feature of the country is the Apennine Mountain range, extending from Liguria in the north to Calabria in the south. The island of Sicily nearly grazes the toe of Italy’s boot, while Sardinia lies to the country’s west. Climate varies significantly throughout the country, with temperature being somewhat more dependent on elevation than latitude, though it is safe to generalize that the south is warmer. Much of the highest quality viticulture takes place on gently rolling, picturesque hillsides.

    Italy boasts more indigenous varieties than any other country—between 500 and 800, depending on whom you ask—and most wine production relies upon these native grapes. In some regions, international varieties have worked their way in, but their use is declining in popularity, especially as younger growers begun to take interest in rediscovering forgotten local specialties. Sangiovese is the most widely planted variety in the country, reaching its greatest potential in parts of Tuscany. Nebbiolo is the prized grape of Piedmont in the northwest, producing singular, complex and age-worthy wines. Other important varieties include Montepulciano, Trebbiano, Barbera, Nero d’Avola, and of course, Pinot Grigio.

    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.

    DSLD285_10_0101_2010 Item# 123203