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Terra Valentine Russian River Pinot Noir 2012

  • WW91
750ML / 14.9% ABV
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750ML / 14.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Raspberry, strawberry jam, and violets with sandalwood, clove, and vanilla aromas. Bright round red fruit on the palate with soft juicy tannins.

Critical Acclaim

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WW 91
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
A classic Pinot Noir, the 2012 Terra Valentine is a throwback to Burgundy. The wine's rusticity is wild, with a hint towards reductive winemaking. Pair it with a savory-spiced game hen. (Tasted: October 4, 2017, San Francisco, CA)
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Terra Valentine

Terra Valentine

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Terra Valentine, California
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Terra Valentine takes winemaking to a new level - about 2,100 feet above the Napa Valley. It is a winery that brings together a state-of-the-art fermentation system with the uncovered beauty of an artisan-constructed building - a colorful and well-hidden treasure of Spring Mountain history.

Terra Valentine sources from Spring Mountain whose varied terrain shines through in the robust yet balanced style of the wines–exhibiting the true essence of the Spring Mountain District. While mountain viticulture presents its challenges, for Terra Valentine, it comes down to hand-tending the vines to get the most out of the diverse soil types and ripening patterns that the mountain bears. The reward–wines ripe with intense flavor and color.

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A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

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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).

Tasting Notes for Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a dry red wine, typically diominated by red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles showing black plum and more delicate styles of Pinot giving citrus qualities. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age Pinot Noir can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice and dried fruit.

Perfect Food Pairings for Pinot Noir

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of salmon or texture of 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 Secrets for Pinot Noir

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, not Pinot noir. 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 Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

GZT10067115_2012 Item# 163625

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