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2012 Morlet "Joli Coeur" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

SKU #1187545 94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good deep red. Subdued aromas of red fruits, spices and graphite. Sweet, rich and lush, but with excellent acidity giving definition and an exhilarating sappy quality to the middle palate. A hint of salinity is perfectly countered by sweet red fruits. Superb depth and lift on the spicy back end, with the tannins fully coated by fruit. I loved the pungent aromatic qualities of Morlet's 2011 pinots but these 2012s will probably be longer-lived. (ST)  (5/2014)

94 points Vinous

 The most complete of Luc Morlet’s 2012 Pinots, the Joli Coeur is terrific. Fresh, vibrant and beautifully nuanced throughout, the Joli Coeur shows more mineral and savory notes, while the fruit lies in the background. There is no shortage of intensity here, but all of that energy and pure concentration is very nicely balanced. This east-facing slope yields wines of real pedigree. 94+ (AG)  (8/2016)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The top Pinot Noir cuvée, as well as the smallest at 450 cases, is the 2012 Pinot Noir Joli Coeur (meaning Beautiful Heart). The most multidimensional of these three Pinots, it exhibits a deep ruby/plum/purple color as well as a sweet bouquet of raspberries, black cherries and damp forest floor notes, a full-bodied, lush, round, generously endowed style, and beautiful purity, texture and length. It comes across as a grand cru from the Northern Côte de Nuits. It should drink well for a decade or more. (RP)  (12/2014)

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Price: $70.99
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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.

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.


- 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.
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Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).