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Twin Fin Pinot Noir 2003
Grapes from Santa Lucia Highlands provide much of the backbone and tannic structure — showcasing dark, brooding and spicy flavors. San Benito County Pinot Noir grapes give some additional weight and complexity to the wine, exhibiting classic Burgundian forest floor and truffle undertones Pinot Noir grapes from Vina del Rey unveil lighter, more delicate flavors of strawberry and other red berry fruits. Finally, a dash of Malbec leaves the wine with generous mid-palate sweetness and juicy red berry fruit character.
After primary fermentation, Twin Fin Pinot Noir was aged in new — two year old French (80%) and American (20%) oak for 10 months. This gives the wine added complexity, while protecting the inherent fruit flavors of the blend.
This is an easy wine to enjoy — matching beautifully with everything from swordfish to a slab of baby back ribs. The bright fruit flavors and delicate tannins make Twin Fish California Pinot Noir a flexible companion for your next cookout.
“Twin Fin is all about fun: relaxed, and always comfortable,” says Sam. “Good wine is like those experiences that become memories, where the horizon signifies not an end, but a beginning—of the next wave, the next adventure, the next possibility. It’s where quality and personality, character and substance all meet in one bottle.”
Hugh and Sam are not what you’d expect from winemakers; these guys are better. While they both have impressive backgrounds – Hugh graduated from Australia’s top winemaking school and Sam has worked with wineries in all of the major wine regions of Australia – they also know how to have a good time. They really live in the spirit of the wine they create: people that work hard and play hard.
“We get the grapes from select vineyards along California’s Central Coast,” says Sam. “That gives us great wine quality, and a chance to travel to all the places we love to visit.” This winemaking duo makes six wines: Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir. The wines are fresh and fruit-driven and offer tremendous quality for the price—just right for everything from beach barbecues to dinner with the in-laws. “The perfect night, the perfect friends and the perfect wine—it’s that easy with Twin Fin,” says Hugh.
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 incredible range of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from tiny, family-owned boutiques to massive corporations, and price and production are equally varied. Plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Valley area, while Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.
Each American Viticultural Area (AVA) and sub-AVA of has its own distinct personality, allowing California to produce wine of every fashion: from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc dominate vineyard acreage. Sonoma County is best known for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône Blends blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with cool climate varieties such as Pinot noir, Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, any wine lover will find something to get excited about here.
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.
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.
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.