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Manos Negras Red Soil Select Pinot Noir 2014
Bright red, iron rich soils are evident throughout the vineyards, in some areas of each vineyard, the soil takes on a deep, rich red color -- indicating a higher concentration of iron and minerals. Their poor profile naturally brings down yields for exceptional concentration of aromas and flavors. Vine roots reach deep into these dark red soil patches, lending layers of earthy tones and stony minerality.
Manos Negras focuses on latitude winemaking. Argentina and Chile's winemaking regions stretch 1,500 miles north to south along the Andes. Each latitude possesses a unique terroir with singular combinations of soil and temperature which are ideally suited for different varietals. Manos Negras uses the unique skills of three immigrants to Argentina-New Zealand winemakers Duncan Killiner and Jason Mabbett, and American wine educator Jeff Mausbach- as well as the renown Argentine viticulturist Alejandro Sejanovich to craft wines based on exciting terroir-varietal combinations.
One of the most southerly regions on the globe for fine wine production, Patagonia has experienced extraordinary vineyard expansion since the early 2000s.
Patagonia vineyards occupy the lower foothills of the Andes at 1,000 to 1,600 feet. Here cold air drops at night from incredibly steep elevations—the Andes reach well over 15,000 feet in this zone—a phenomenon that produces drastic diurnal shifts. Cold nights contrasted with hot summer days produce grapes with striking color, full ripeness, great finesse and aromatic intensity.
Favored for its luxury brands, the Patagonia wine growing region of Argentina focuses on a diverse array of international varieties: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillón and Viognier among the white grapes, and Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon for reds.
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.
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.
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.