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Rancho Zabaco Reserve Pinot Gris 1999

Pinot Gris/Grigio from Sonoma County, California
  • WS85
  • W&S92
  • W&S87
  • WE87
  • RP86
  • WE88
  • WS86
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Winemaker Notes

After harvest, the grapes selected for this wine were not crushed or destemmed, but instead pressed as whole clusters in our membrane press using very minimal pressure.  The wine then chilled for at least 24 hours to allow most of the solids to cold-settle, and then the clear juice was racked off into tank and barrel for fermentation.  Two thirds of the blend was fermented at cool temperatures in stainless steel, to preerve the exotic fruit and floral notes in the wine.  The remaining third of the blend was barrel fermented, adding vanilla and spice notes to the finished wine.  Approximately 20% of the wine then went through malolactic fermentation, contributing a creaminess and softening the wines acidity.  Just over half of the wine was then aged on the lees for two months during which time it was stirred twice, to enhance the complexity and richness in the wine.  It was lightly fined and filtered prior to bottling.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 85
Wine Spectator

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Rancho Zabaco

Rancho Zabaco

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Rancho Zabaco, , California
Rancho Zabaco
Rancho Zabaco is named for one of the original Mexican land grants in Sonoma County. Sonoma County encompasses the Dry Creek Valley, the area from which Rancho Zabaco’s grapes are drawn. The wines are inspired by the bold spirit of the Spanish and Mexican pioneers who settled this rugged land.

California

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Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredibly wide-ranging selection of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from boutique to massive corporations, and price and quality are equally varied—plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Coast area, while Napa is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.

Just about every style of wine you can imagine is made in California, from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. Each AVA and sub-AVA has its own distinct personality. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other Bordeaux varieties dominate, as well as Sauvignon Blanc. Sonoma County is best known for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with Alsatian varieties such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, it is certain that any wine lover will find something to get excited about.

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.

PIN9384_1999 Item# 13733

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