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Orogeny Vineyards Pinot Noir Green Valley 2003

Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    We fermented whole berries in small, five-ton, open-top fermenters with a cold soak ranging from five to seven days. During this soak we punched down the cap three times a day to bring out the color, spice and fruit characteristics. We aged the wine in 50 percent new oak barrels, selected to add spice notes, rather than smoky characteristics, to the wine.

    Crystalline aromas of candied blackberries, raspberries and cherries, woven together with floral overtones define the aroma. In the mouth the wine presents the deep, focused fruit, soft substantial tannins and bright acidity so characteristic of our appellation. Its balance between mixed berries, Asian spices, silky mouthfeel and great concentration make this a wine both for quaffing now and cellaring for 8 to 10 years.

    Critical Acclaim

    Orogeny Vineyards

    Orogeny Vineyards

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    Orogeny Vineyards, , California
    Orogeny Vineyards
    Pinot Noir, more than any other grape, reflects where it is grown. Orogeny pays tribute to the land with their name. Orogeny is a geological term that comes from Greek oro, "mountain," and -geny, "birth." It refers to the process during which the collisions and separations of the earth's crust form mountains. A series of orogenic episodes in Sonoma County near the Pacific Ocean formed the mountains and streams that created Green Valley, the unique source for Orogeny Vineyard's grapes.

    They focus on cool-climate Pinot Noir from Green Valley, the coldest region of the famed Russian River Valley. Fog flows from the Pacific Coast along the Russian River and through the Petaluma Wind Gap, converging on this small area.

    Orogeny's grapes are grown on five small vineyards, each only five to ten acres, which were selected to display the bright fruit characteristics of classic Green Valley Pinot Noir. Their limited size permits Orogeny to use hands-on farming techniques. The vines are planted on ridges in Gold Ridge soils, a mix of sandy loam over sandstone and clay. These sites provide excellent drainage, which promotes even ripening and concentrated flavors.

    Bordeaux

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    One of the most important wine regions of the world both qualitatively and quantitatively...

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    One of the most important wine regions of the world both qualitatively and quantitatively, Bordeaux is a powerhouse producer of wines of all colors, sweetness levels, and price points. Separated from the Atlantic ocean by a coastal pine forest, the mostly flat region has a mild maritime climate marked by cool wet winters and a warm, damp growing season, though annual differences vary enough to make vintage variation quite significant. Unpredictable weather at harvest time may negatively impact the ability of cornerstone variety Cabernet Sauvignon to ripen fully, while humid conditions can encourage the spread of rot and disease (although in the case of the region’s sweet white wines, “noble” rot known as botrytis is highly desirable). The Gironde estuary is a defining feature of Bordeaux, splitting the region into the Left Bank and the Right Bank. The vast Entre-Deux-Mers appellation lies in between.

    The Left Bank, dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, contains the Médoc, Graves, and Sauternes, as well as most of the region’s most famous chateaux. Here, Merlot is commonly planted as an insurance policy in case Cabernet fails to fully ripen in difficult years. Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec may also be used in blends. This tends to be the more structured and age-worthy side of Bordeaux. Merlot is the principal variety of the Right Bank, with Cabernet Franc as its primary sidekick, with the other three varieties available for blending. The key appellations here include St. Emilion and Pomerol, whose wines are often plush, supple, and more imminently ready for drinking. Dry and sweet white wines are produced throughout the region from Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and sometimes Muscadelle or Sauvignon Gris. Some of the finest dry whites can be found in the the Graves sub-appellation of Pessac-Léognan, while Sauternes is undisputedly the gold standard for sweet wines. Small amounts of rosé and sparkling wine are made in Bordeaux as well.

    Bordeaux Blends

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    One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine...

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    One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

    In the Glass

    Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

    Perfect Pairings

    Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

    Sommelier Secret

    While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

    CWC70527_2003 Item# 81619

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