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Thorne Rio Vista Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009

Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    14.6% ABV
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    3.4 5 Ratings
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    3.4 5 Ratings
    14.6% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Produced in limited quantity of 810 cases, this wine is a blend of five Pinot Noir clones: 115, 2A, 667, 777, and Calera. It was barrel-aged for 12 months in 40% new French Oak barrels and 60% older French Oak barrels and then bottled aged for an additional 15 months.

    This is an elegant wine with a bright fruit aroma, delicate ruby color, subtle berry flavors of raspberry and cherry, with a smooth lingering finish.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Thorne

    Thorne

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    Thorne, Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    Image of winery
    The current Rio Vista Vineyard property was settled in the late 1800's by Portuguese immigrants, many from the Azores.The farmhouse, recently restored, was built around the turn of the century. There have been a number of visits from early occupants who were born or grew up on the property. Their stories describe an original vineyard that was in the same location as block 7 of the present Rio Vista Vineyard. They also brought photographs of large catches of steelhead from the Santa Ynez River displayed on the front porch of the farmhouse.

    The Rio Vista Ranch has been in the family for over fifty years of raising cattle and farming. Bobbie Thorne's father Jack Wiester acquired the property in the mid fifties and Bobbie and Graner Thorne were married in the area in 1958. Over the years the Thornes and their children, John and Karey, shared their time on the ranch with their city home in Palos Verdes. They rode horses, worked cattle, and earned their keep during the summers on the ranch. Over the years, the Rio Vista Ranch has continued to be a gathering point for the immediate and extended family.

    Graner and Bobbie Thorne continue to share their time between the Southland and Sta. Rita Hills, though their active involvement with their vineyard and the new wine brand finds them on the Rio Vista property with increasing frequency.

    The first two vintages of Thorne Pinot Noir were made by different winemakers. This 2008 vintage (and two subsequent as yet unreleased vintages) were made by Ken Brown.

    Sta. Rita Hills

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    A superior source of Californian wine beloved by Burgundy fans, Sta. Rita Hills is the coolest, western most sub-region of the larger Santa Ynez Valley appellation in Santa Barbara County. This relatively new AVA is unquestionably one to keep an eye on.

    The climate of Sta. Rita Hills is a natural match for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Thanks to the crisp ocean breezes and well-drained, limestone-rich calcareous soil, grapes ripen just enough, retaining brisk acidity and demonstrating saline minerality and harmonious balance.

    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.

    BVWTHO_09PNSR_2009 Item# 120250