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Peay Vineyards Sonoma Coast Scallop Shelf Pinot Noir 2007
The mouth also has medium intensity and weight with added flavors of rose hips and black tea. The fruit is more akin to dried blood oranges and plums (not prunes, think pluots!) with clean acidity, a focused mid-palate and moderate tannins. As is customary with the Scallop Shelf, the finish is long. This is a complex wine with finesse. It offers immediate pleasure and may also be aged for 10+ years if you desire aged Pinot characteristics. If you allow a long decant, darker flavors of licorice will come to the fore though a 30-minute decant will allow the aromas to coalesce.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
All wines are made from grapes grown on our 53-acre estate vineyard located above a river gorge in the far northwestern corner of the Sonoma Coast, 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean at Sea Ranch. We sit in the chilly inversion layer with fog and wind from the Ocean maintaining cool temperatures with plenty of sunlight.
Winemaker Vanessa Wong left her position as winemaker at Peter Michael Winery in 2001 to launch Peay Vineyards. Formerly she worked at Château Lafite-Rothschild, Domaine Jean Gros and Hirsch Winery.
We farm organically and maintain our licenses for fish friendly farming and integrated pest management. The health of our vineyard dictates these approaches to farming and making wine. We also run on bio-diesel at the vineyard and solar power at both the vineyard and winery.
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.
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.
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.