2008 Bodegas Atamisque Catalpa Pinot Noir Single Vineyard Mendoza

SKU #1054749

It's been a while since I have managed to find a really tasty South American Pinot Noir for a fair, casual-weeknight-dinner price. Pinot Noir is not easily grown, and managing to not only grow the grapes but properly make the wine and retain its varietal charm is no mean feat, to say the least. Here we have a terrific rendition from the high elevation (4,000 feet), cooler climate vineyards of the Tupungato sub-zone of Mendoza, which appears to be a hotbed for Pinot cultivation in Argentina. Though this is only their second year of production, the vines from this single vineyard average 20-30 years of age, and produce enough fruit to bottle approximately 2,000 cases. Strawberry and cherry aromas lead to clear, bright cherry flavors that show very good purity and texture. 30% of the wine sees 10 months of aging in new French oak, which helps to add complexity while not detracting from the wine's clarity or fruit expression. This is a wonderfully charming Pinot Noir that should be just about right for your mustard and herb broiled salmon or take-out rotisserie chicken. (Joe Manekin, K&L South American wine buyer)

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Price: $14.99
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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.


- Argentina is regarded as one of the most dynamic wine-producing nations in the world, and possibly the most important wine-producing region in South America. Only four countries in the world produce more wine than Argentina. Considerable investments (much of which has come from famous French, Italian and California wine producers) have been made in new vineyards and winemaking technology in the past several years, which along with recent plantings of more premium varieties of grapes, has made Argentina much more competitive internationally. The Mendoza region is the most important region in Argentina's wine industry. And Malbec, among other Bordeaux varietals grown here, reigns supreme. Click for a list of bestselling items from Argentina.
Alcohol Content (%): 14