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Testarossa Palazzio Pinot Noir 2003

Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
  • W&S91
  • CG90
0% ABV
  • W&S91
  • WS89
  • WS89
  • CG90
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Winemaker Notes

The Palazzio Pinot Noir is a blend of all of our ultra-premium vineyards. It displays intense notes of cherry, strawberry, and spice enveloped by a smooth and creamy lingering mouthfeel. This is our silkiest, most hedonistic Palazzio Pinot Noir to date.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 91
Wine & Spirits
CG 90
Connoisseurs' Guide
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Testarossa

Testarossa

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Testarossa, Central Coast, California
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Testarossa Vineyards, located in the historic 19th century Novitiate winery of Los Gatos, was founded in 1993 by husband and wife team of Rob and Diana Jensen. The name Testarossa (Italian for "red-head") was a nickname given to Rob Jensen when he was a university student in Italy. It was there, also, that the Jensens further developed their passion for good food and wine. Along with their winemaker, Ed Kurtzman, the Jensens are dedicated to making small lots of vineyard desgnated wines from only the best vineyards in the cool, ocean-influenced counties of Monterey, Santa Barbara and Sonoma.

Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.

Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

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, 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.

RWC451043_2003 Item# 84632