Vino: A to Z Pinot Noir

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Name: A to Z Pinot Noir Grape: Pinot Noir Region: Willamette Valley, Oregon Price: $10.00 to $15.00

Considered the Holy Grail among winemakers, Pinot Noir is a finicky and difficult grape that will only thrive in a very specific climate. Oregon has such a climate and is quickly becoming one of the country's most important regions for Pinot Noir.

Pacific Ocean breezes, cool mornings, warm afternoons, mineral rich soil, all important factors to the livelihood of this elusive grape. With the right amount of each, one's odds of producing a perfectly balanced Pinot Noir increase. Once you’ve tasted a truly great Pinot, you will never be able to go back. A to Z Winery, located in the "red hills" of Dundee, hopes to achieve this perfect balance through a creative winemaking approach. Using vines from over twenty different vineyards, they have taken the Heinz 57 approach to winemaking and strive to retain the best characteristics of each vineyard while over powering their lesser ones.

An archetypal Oregon Pinot Noir will show big perfumed aromatics in the nose; the fruit should taste of lush raspberry, violet and cassis. Pinot Noir should also have ample acidity, nothing ripe or cloying, heavy or sweet. The acidity being the very thing which makes Pinot Noir one of the world’s best food pairing wines, especially with light game meats, oily fish or cheese.

Stores: PJ Wine $10.47 (4898 Broadway between 204th & 205th St), Astor Wines & Spirits $14.99, 399 Lafayette (at 4th Street), Beacon Wines and Spirits $14.99 (2120 Broadway between 74th & 75th Street)

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