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New Customers Save $30* with code JULYNEW30
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Peay Vineyards Sonoma Coast Scallop Shelf Pinot Noir (Magnum) 2005
The 2005 Scallop Shelf Estate's nose is concentrated with aromas of dark cherry and plum framed by orange peel and lead. The depth of aromas is truly profound. The mouth has medium to full body with breadth and volume though it is not heavy or cloying. The classic cherry notes come from the predominance of Pommard clone Pinot noir bolstered by pluminess from clone 115. As a result the flavors are on the border between red and black fruit. The wine maintains the crisp acidity and relatively low alcohol that are the hallmark of our vineyard yet delivers a full mouth feel and concentration rare in a wine of this profile. The finish is very long with soft tannins that will subside with aging. Flavors of forest floor, mushroom and dried cherry linger on the palate long after the last sip.
The Scallop Shelf is built to last and will not fall apart as secondary aromas develop with bottle age.
Drink one now after a 45 minute decant to gauge the style and cellar the remainder for at least 3-5 years and longer
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.
A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs from the San Pablo Bay to the Mendocino County border. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the “true” Sonoma Coast, marked by high rainfall, marine soils, cool temperatures, and saline ocean breezes, from which one can actually see the ocean—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, creating a diversity of wine styles. Contained within the appellation is the much smaller and more focused Fort Ross-Seaview AVA.
Sonoma Coast is highly regarded for elegant Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and, increasingly, cool-climate Syrah, with high acidity, moderate alcohol, firm tannin, and fruit that is rarely overripe. One of the most favorable sites within the region is the Petaluma Gap, where a break in the coastal mountain range allows Pacific winds and fog to funnel through and cool the vineyards.
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.