2008 Vine Hill Winery "Scintilla Vineyard" Carneros Pinot Noir (Elsewhere $40)

SKU #1075605

91 points from the Pinot Report: "Medium ruby color; deep briary aromas with dark raspberry and cranberry notes; rich mix of dark fruit flavors, with tea and cola notes; fine grained tannins; good structure and balance; long finish. Deep, dark fruit-driven Pinot with very fine tannins. Needs time to open up." (Issue No.73) Vine Hill Winery's Scintilla Pinot Noir is made from grapes grown organically at the Scintilla Vineyard in the Carneros, aged in 40% new French oak. A deep, voluptuous Pinot Noir, with chocolate-covered cherry cola aromas and flavors and hints of caramel on the finish.

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Price: $14.99
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Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/23/2011 | Send Email
At first smell this wine is wildly confectionary with bursting aromas of chocolate covered cherries and raspberry hard candy. But if you’re willing to dig a little deeper the sandy, sedimentary soils of Carneros play a big role here in giving the wine an underlying herbaceous quality of sage and tarragon. My first impression of this wine is one of a savory character with plenty of tobacco, heirloom tomato and tobacco and in that aspect this is a bit more burgundian than most California Pinots these days. But again this is a wine that unravels with time and as it opens further there are plenty of wild strawberry, raspberry jam and sassafrass qualities that give this further dimension and complexity. This is certainly a wine better suited for the dinner table than the porch/pool and will pay a nice reward with mid-weight dishes like roasted chicken, pork loin, or a nice seared duck breast.

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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.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
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- Just across the Golden Gate from San Francisco, Carneros is kept cool by Bay breezes and thick fog, and has long been famous for cool-climate pinot noir, chardonnay and sparkling wine based on the two varietals. Warmer pockets have proved interesting and promising homes for syrah, cabernet and merlot.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.9