This wine displays earthy, licorice-tinged scents of mushrooms, cherry liqueur and light brown sugar. Smooth, juicy flavors of cherry and roasted coffee get a sweetly spicy edge from notes of cinnamon and dark chocolate. The wine is medium bodied and has great intensity but stays sleek and silky, with a chalky mineral note that adds interest to the fruit and spice tastes.
Plum, black raspberry, dark cherry, anise, chocolate and mint.
Some parts of California have cool climates and others have limestone, but very few have both. This unique confluence of weather and soil has drawn vintners to the state's Monterey Peninsula over the decades. The Brosseau Vineyard lies in Chalone, a subregion of Monterey identified with the jagged remains of an ancient volcano, now Pinnacles National Monument. Its crumbling red peaks are a stark tribute to the region's violent geologic past, which pushed up limestone strata from a million-year-old seabed. Pinot Noir does beautifully in limestone soils, as evidenced in France's Burgundy region. Like some of California's most famous winemakers, Peter Harrington sought out Jon and Jan Brosseau, who sold him Pinot Noir grapes from a few rows of their vines. A Pinot enthusiast, Harrington makes just a few lots of wine each year and intends to keep his operation small. His is a microwinery: old school and truly artisanal. This creamy, spice-accented Pinot shows Harrington's delicate touch and the vineyard's trademark minerality to impressive effect. Only 200 cases were produced.
The soft, tender tannins in this Pinot Noir make it a perfect partner for oily fish like salmon and tuna, as well as light- to medium-bodied proteins such as poultry (like my Roasted Chicken with Herbes de Napa), veal and pork. For accent ingredients, the earthy tones in mushrooms and truffles are a classic match with Pinot, while the hints of warm spices in the Harrington Pinot Noir invite mild spices (cinnamon, allspice, cumin) as a flavor complement. If you're considering a cheese course, try mild to medium soft-rind cheeses made from cow's milk, such as Camembert and Brie.
"It's a hard grape to grow, as you know. It's thin-skinned, temperamental. It's not a survivor like Cabernet that can grow anywhere and thrive even when neglected. Pinot needs constant care and attention, you know? And in fact it can only grow in these really specific, little, tucked away corners of the world. And, and only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time... to understand Pinot's potential... can then coax it into its fullest expression" ~ Miles Raymond, from the movie "Sideways"