lunes, 4 de marzo de 2013

Schug Carneros Pinot Noir, Schug Carneros Estate Winery 2009


"This classic Carneros region Pinot Noir offers a wide range of flavors and aromas, in the tradition of the finest red Burgundies of France. `Clonal diversity´ is achieved by carefully blending several vineyard lots, each retaining its own unique clonal signature in the blend. The result is a complex wine with a rich bouquet of cherries, berries and hints of spicy new oak. It has flavors reminiscent of black cherry, currant and strawberry, followed by a rich, spicy texture and a long silky finish. This wine pairs nicely with lamb, duck, even grilled fish, and will improve with additional cellaring for 2 to 5 years". schugwinery

- Winery: The founder of Schug Carneros, Walter Schug, spent ten years as the founding winemaker at Joseph Phelps Vineyards during the 1970s and created California's first proprietary Bordeaux-style blend, Insignia, and the first varietal Syrah in the U.S. He also made the vineyard designates Eisele and Backus, and pioneered late-harvest dessert wines. He was the first ever to receive a 99-point score from wine critic Robert Parker, Jr..

Schug's real passion was Pinot Noir. Phelps discontinued producing Pinot Noir in 1980 and Schug began making it the same year under his own label. Ten laters later, he built Schug Carneros Estate Winery near the town of Sonoma. Walter and his wife Gertrud were joined by son Axel in 1989 who directed the sales and growth of the winery in the ensuing years and is currently the managing partner.

Schug is the "winemaster emeritus" today while Michael Cox has handled the winemaking duties since 1995. For Pinot Noir, they use German plunger fermentation tanks and European oval oak casks in addition to small French oak barrels. The style here has always emphasized elegance and age ability.

- Price: £23.99


Pinot noir (French: [pino nwaʁ]) is a black wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. The name may also refer to wines created predominantly from Pinot noir grapes. The name is derived from the French words for "pine" and "black" alluding to the grape variety's tightly clustered dark purple pine-cone shaped bunches of fruit.

Pinot noir grapes are grown around the world, mostly in the cooler regions, but the grape is chiefly associated with the Burgundy region of France. It is widely considered to produce some of the finest wines in the world, but is a difficult variety to cultivate and transform into wine.

Pinot noir's home is France's Burgundy region, particularly in Côte-d'Or. It is also planted in Austria, Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Canada, Chile, north parts of Croatia, the Republic of Georgia, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Kosova, the Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Greece, Romania, New Zealand, South Africa, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, United States, Uruguay, Ukraine and Slovakia. The United States has increasingly become a major Pinot noir producer, with some of the best regarded coming from the Willamette Valley in Oregon and California's Sonoma County with its Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations. Lesser known appellations can be found in Mendocino County's Anderson Valley as well as the Central Coast's Santa Lucia Highlands appellation and the Sta. Rita Hills American Viticultural Area in Santa Barbara County. In New Zealand, it is principally grown in Martinborough, Marlborough, Waipara and Central Otago.

The leaves of Pinot noir are generally smaller than those of Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah and the vine is typically less vigorous than either of these varieties. The grape cluster is small and conico-cylindrical, vaguely shaped like a pine cone. Some viticultural historians believe this shape-similarity may have given rise to the name. In the vineyard Pinot noir is sensitive to wind and frost, cropping levels (it must be low yielding for production of quality wines), soil types and pruning techniques. In the winery it is sensitive to fermentation methods, yeast strains and is highly reflective of its terroir with different regions producing sometimes very different wines. Its thin skin makes it susceptible to bunch rot and similar fungal diseases of the bunch. The vines themselves are susceptible to powdery mildew, and in Burgundy (and elsewhere) infection by leaf roll and fanleaf viruses causes significant vine health problems. These complications have given the grape a reputation for being difficult to grow: Jancis Robinson calls Pinot a "minx of a vine" and André Tchelistcheff declared that "God made Cabernet Sauvignon whereas the devil made Pinot noir." It is much less tolerant of hard, windy, hot and dry, harsh vineyard conditions than the likes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, or Grenache.

Pinot noir wines are among the most popular in the world. Joel Fleischman of Vanity Fair describes Pinot noir as "the most romantic of wines, with so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, and so powerful a punch that, like falling in love, they make the blood run hot and the soul wax embarrassingly poetic." Master Sommelier Madeline Triffon calls pinot "sex in a glass".

The tremendously broad range of bouquets, flavors, textures and impressions that Pinot noir can produce sometimes confuses tasters. In the broadest terms, the wine tends to be of light to medium body with an aroma reminiscent of black and / or red cherry, raspberry and to a lesser extent currant and many other fine small red and black berry fruits. Traditional red Burgundy is famous for its savoury fleshiness and 'farmyard' aromas (these latter not unassociated with mercaptans and other reductive characters), but changing fashions, modern winemaking techniques, and new easier-to-grow clones have favoured a lighter, more fruit-prominent, cleaner style. The wine's colour when young is often compared to that of garnet, frequently being much lighter than that of other red wines. This is entirely natural and not a winemaking fault as Pinot noir has a lower skin anthocyanin (colouring matter) content than most other classical red / black varieties. However, an emerging, increasingly evident, style from California and New Zealand highlights a more powerful, fruit forward and darker wine that can tend toward Syrah (or even new world Malbec) in depth, extract, and alcoholic content.

Pinot noir is also used in the production of Champagne (usually along with Chardonnay and Pinot meunier) and is planted in most of the world's wine growing regions for use in both still and sparkling wines. Pinot noir grown for dry table wines is generally low-yielding and of lesser vigour than many other varieties, whereas when grown for use in sparkling wines (e.g. Champagne) it is generally cropped at significantly higher yields.

In addition to being used for the production of sparkling and still red wine, Pinot noir is also sometimes used for rosé still wines, and even vin gris white wines. Its juice is uncoloured.


Los Carneros AVA (also known as Carneros AVA) is an American Viticultural Area which includes parts of both Sonoma and Napa counties in California, U.S.A.. It is located north of San Pablo Bay. The proximity to the cool fog and breezes from the bay makes the climate in Los Carneros cooler and more moderate than the wine regions further north in Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley. The cooler climate has made Los Carneros attractive for the cultivation of cooler climate varietals like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Many of the grapes grown in Los Carneros are used for sparkling wine production. Receiving its AVA status in 1983, the Carneros area was the first wine region in California to be defined by its climate characteristics rather than political boundaries.

The Carneros region covers 90 square miles (230 km2) located along the low lying hills of the Mayacamas range as it descends underneath San Francisco Bay. Elevations of most vineyards range from 400 feet (120 m) in the foothills to near sea level closer to the bay. The official boundaries of the AVA fall into both Napa and Sonoma counties with the largest portion being in Sonoma and entitled to use the Sonoma Valley AVA designation as well. The Napa portion of Los Carneros is similarly entitled to use the Napa Valley AVA designation. The region is moderately cool and windy with marked influences from nearby San Pablo Bay, making it the coolest and windiest AVA in both Napa & Sonoma. Early morning fog is a persistent feature.

The soils of the Carneros region are predominately clay and very thin and shallow (approximately 3 feet/1 meter deep), providing poor drainage and fertility. The fierce and persistent winds coming off the bay encourages the grapevines to struggle and retain moisture. While this aids in keeping crop yields small, it can also delay the grapes from ripening sufficiently. In vintages with a long, drawn out growing season that allow the grapes to ripen, intense and vivid flavors can develop.

Los Carneros is primarily associated with the cool-climate wines such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as the sparkling wines made from those grapes. Many wineries in Napa & Sonoma use Carneros grapes as a cool-climate blending component. In recent years there has been interest in Merlot and Syrah coming from the warmer areas of the region. In 1996, the first possible plantings of Albarino in the United States were planted in the Carneros region.

Carneros Chardonnay is marked by its high acidity that can bring balance to the fatter, rounder Chardonnays produced in the warmer climate areas of Sonoma and Napa. It is usually put through malolactic fermentation and giving significant oak treatment to soften some of the acidity. Pinot Noir from the Carneros is known for its crisp acidity and tight structure and frequently exhibits spicy berry fruit. The Carneros region was one of the early pioneers of cool-climate Pinot Noirs in California-long before it became a significant planting in the Russian River, Anderson Valley, Santa Rita Hills and Santa Lucia Highlands AVAs. In recent years there has been a focus by Carneros Pinot Noir producers on the changing style of the region's Pinot due, in part, on emerging modern philosophies in winemaking and on clonal selections. The older clones found in Carneros include the Martini and Swan clones which produce wines that are lighter, more elegant with some earthy complexity. They are also noted for their distinctive aromas of green herbs, beets and mint. The newer French clones being planted, (such as the Dijon 115, 667 and 777) produce more alcoholic and concentrated wines with black fruit notes.

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