2004 Thomas Dundee Hills Pinot Noir

SKU #1067378

94 Points, Stephen Tanzer's The International Wine Cellar: "Bright red. Seductive raspberry, redcurrant and wild strawberry aromas are complemented by an array of Asian spices, dried violet, yellow rose, cured meat, graphite and iron notes. I'd have called this a platonic Mazis-Chambertin, blind, but it's also floral enough to guess Clos de Beze, or meaty and mineral enough to say Cote-Rotie. Medium in body, with silky tannins supporting fresh raspberry and kirsch flavor, and suave mocha and smoky bacon notes adding depth. Impressively balanced, elegant wine, offering a deft mix of fresh berry, meat and musky earth tones, and finishing on a bright, persistent mineral note. Gains sweetness and depth with air, but remains strikingly elegant and classically dry. Hold this for at least three years; it should drink well for another decade after that. My most recent bottle of 1994 was flat-out gorgeous, by the way. I'm betting that this spine-chillin' hair-raiser, which is emphatically about more than just fruit, turns out even better. My score may prove to be low." (May/Jun 2007)

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Price: $179.99

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Varietal:

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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

Oregon

- Highly touted for its Pinot Noirs, Oregon is part of the up-and-coming winemaking industry in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Most of Oregon is directly affected by the climate coming off of the Pacific Ocean, giving it mild winters and wet summers. This makes it a difficult place to ripen grapes, but some say that the harder grapes have to struggle, the more complex they will turn out to be. Chardonnay and Pinot Gris are two important and successful grapes grown in Oregon.