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Pisoni Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir 2005

Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
  • RP93
0% ABV
  • RP96
  • WS93
  • RP98
  • RP95
  • RP95
  • WS92
  • RP94
  • WE92
  • RP93
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Winemaker Notes

When winemaker Jeff Pisoni looks at the label, a year's worth of vintage memories swirl in his head. Grapes handpicked under the cool cloak of night. Finicky Pinot Noir fruit hand-sorted and gently placed into fermentation vats, where cold soaks extract intense flavors and stabilize the rich garnet color of the grapes. Hand punchdowns of the cap provide tannins and a feel for the fermentation's progress. And, finally, wine sleeping in the finest French oak barrels, closely monitored until bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A brilliant effort, this dark ruby/purple-hued 2005 Pinot Noir Pisoni Vineyards exhibits aromas of forest floor, spring flowers, black currants, blueberries, and raspberries. Full-bodied, opulent, rich, structured, and dense...
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Pisoni Vineyards

Pisoni Vineyards

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Pisoni Vineyards, Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
Gary Pisoni exudes passion—for adventure, for family and friends, for grape growing, for wine. The Burgundian-crazy founder and visionary of Pisoni Vineyards & Winery oversees all viticultural and winemaking activities. For over 20 years, this maverick has produced Pinot Noir grapes for premium California vintners, gaining recognition for his uncompromised practices and exceptional fruit. He and his two sons presented the first release of Pisoni Estate Pinot Noir in 1998 and introduced a sister label, Lucia, in 2000.

Santa Lucia Highlands

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Perhaps the most highly regarded appellation within Monterey County, Santa Lucia Highlands AVA benefits from a combination of warm morning sunshine and brisk afternoon breezes, allowing grapes to ripen slowly and fully. The result is concentrated, flavorful wines that retain their natural acidity. Wineries here do not shy away from innovation, and place a high priority on sustainable viticultural practices.

The climatic conditions here are perfectly suited to the production of ripe, rich Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. These Burgundian varieties dominate an overwhelming percentage of plantings, though growers have also found success with Syrah, Riesling and Pinot Gris.

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. 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 Villages or Cru level wines.

MLNPISONI_2005 Item# 125177