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Meridian Pinot Noir 1998

Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
  • WE86
  • WS85
0% ABV
  • WE86
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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WE 86
Wine Enthusiast
WS 85
Wine Spectator
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Meridian

Meridian

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Meridian, Central Coast, California
Established in 1988, the Meridian Vineyards winery is located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco in the relaxed town of Paso Robles, California. The label was founded in 1984 by veteran Winemaker Chuck Ortman, who spent the early part of his career as winemaker and consultant to several prestigious Napa and Sonoma wineries. Although the first Meridian wines were made from Napa fruit, Ortman was always intrigued by the emerging Central Coast growing regions of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, where vineyards in cool climates were yielding Chardonnay and Pinot Noir of phenomenal quality. When the opportunity was presented to develop Meridian's Santa Barbara vineyards and relocate to the Central Coast, Ortman eagerly accepted the challenge. Today, Chuck is still making the wines from vineyards owned and farmed by Meridian Vineyards in the Santa Barbara County, Edna Valley and Paso Robles appellations.

Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of the state's wine. The sprawling district covers most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara from the coast inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley. Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types, and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including Monterey, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, and Santa Cruz Mountains.

Just about every major international grape variety is planted within this vast AVA, from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. A significant proportion of the region’s produce is generic, inexpensive bulk wine, but the Central Coast is also home to many small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as everything in between.

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.

OPI43124_1998 Item# 26451