Gastronomist: California Pinot Noir
2010 Knez Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, $30- Made from all estate fruit from both the Cerise and Demuth vineyards. Elegant and pure.
“Peter Knez is the new owner of the famed Cerise and Demuth Vineyards in Anderson Valley, and running the estate is Anthony Filiberdi, co-winemaker of Anthill Farms. Anthony and Peter are dedicated to producing wines of purity and place and are using biodynamic farming and hands off wine making to achieve this goal.”- Revel Wine
2010 Alta Maria Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir, $25- A classic Central Coast Pinot, with balance. Aged 17 months in 64% in neutral French oak and 33% new.
“James Ontiveros and Paul Wilkins bonded in college over an unlikely interest in wine. Interest grew into obsession and obsession became career: one as a viticulturist and one as a winemaker. Over time, each was drawn to a region of quiet treasure: the Santa Maria Valley. Alta Maria reflects the unflappable authenticity of the Santa Maria Valley, it’s refusal to acknowledge the whims of the masses, and the unheralded excellence of its climate, geography and soils.” -Revel Wine
Naturalist: The Other Pinot
The sleeper hit grape of the Loire and every wine geeks fav, Pineau d’Aunis produces extremely unique wines of surprising depth, spice and pure red fruit. Easy to drink but with substance and a little mystery.
2011 Clos Roche Blanche Rosé, $19- Produced from a small .4 hectare plot of land with pure limestone soils. Very limited! Consider yourself lucky.
“Touraine, a Loire Valley appellation, designates a large viticultural area around the city of Tours. The vineyards of Clos Roche Blanche were planted on the Touraine hills bordering the Cher river by the Roussel family at the end of the 19th century and have remained in the family since. Catherine Roussel took over this 28-hectare estate in 1975 from her father, and was later joined by Didier Barrouillet, who tends the vineyards and makes the wine. Both are enthusiastic proponents of non-interventionist winemaking.” – Louis/Dressner
2011 Pascal Janvier Cuvée du Rosier, $18- 100% Pineau d’Aunis from a 1.6 hectare vineyard in the Coteaux du Loir.
“There is no doubt that Pascal and Dominique have chosen the path less traveled, though at the first sip of their wine, one understands why they keep working so hard. Their stunning aromatics and complexity prove them to be one of the greatest values in the KLWM Loire Valley Portfolio…If over-alcoholic wines are getting to you, Pascal Janvier’s wines are a great refuge.” – Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
2011 L’Age de Raisin “Petite Fugue” Pineau d’Aunis, $22- Made from 80 year old vines in Coteaux du Vendômois. Vineyard work done by hand and with horse!
“We use neither chemical fertilizers, nor synthetic pesticides or insecticides and work in organic farming. Our wines are not chaptalized and fermented without contribution of industrial yeasts, we sulphur very reasonably before the bottling. We want our wines to be authentic and natural, reflections of their soils, their vintage year and their varietals.” – winemaker Valérye Mordelet