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Masut Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir from Eagle Peak, Mendocino, California
    13.9% ABV
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    13.9% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    The 2012 flagship Pinot Noir is made from Dijon clones115(73%), 777(18%), and 113(9%). We had an optimalgrowing season and yields were around 3 tons/acre. Harvestbegan on September 15th and finished October 1st. All fruitwas hand sorted and whole-berry destemmed into open-topfermenters for a 14-18 day fermentation. The wine was aged inFrench oak (33% new) sur lie for 10 months before beingbottled unfined and unfiltered.

    Beautiful dark ruby in color, the Estate Vineyard Pinot Noiropens with crushed raspberries and dark fruit aromas accentedwith spicy French oak undertones. Silky smooth mouth feel aswell as racy acidity add to the delicious lingering finish.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Masut
    Masut, Eagle Peak, Mendocino, California
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    Ben and Jake, sons of Bobby and Sheila Fetzer, grew up on the Home Ranch, a property developed by grandparents Barney and Kathleen Fetzer with the help of their 11 children. Riding on dirt roads in pick-up trucks. Driving the tractor in dad's lap. Eating grandmother's cookies in her big kitchen. Making mischief. Playing musical instruments for fun. Hanging out at the winery's crush pad to watch the grape trucks unload. "We learned that with hard, honest work and diligence, you can achieve your dreams," says Jake.

    One of their father's favorite sayings was "If you live on a ranch, you work on a ranch." The boys remember working in the vineyards when they were in the 5th grade. They pulled leaves on four acres of chardonnay and two acres of cabernet sauvignon near their grandmother's house. By the 8th grade, they were making wine: a blend of cabernet sauvignon and sangiovese.

    Spending their childhoods on Home Ranch, Jake and Ben developed a deep respect for the land and the life it supports. Their 1500 acre Masut Ranch borders the Home Ranch. They are familiar with the seasons and the wildlife. Ben remarks that "There is so much native land around the vineyard; this whole ranch is a wildlife corridor for deer, turkeys, wild pigs, bear and birds."

    As Third Generation grape growers and winemakers, their goals are to continue what their grandfather started, to follow their father's vision of pioneering a new region for exceptional Pinot Noir and to continue learning about the Masut vineyard site. Jake and Ben agree "We have learned that our work is never finished."

    Today Jake Fetzer and his wife, Gina Caito, live on the Home Ranch. Ben Fetzer lives on the family's ranch in Covelo where cattle graze and wheat grows.

    Eagle Peak

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    Part of northern Mendocino County, the Eagle Peak appellation produces high quality Pinot noir.

    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.

    DUEMASUTESTPINOT_2012 Item# 131379