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Estancia (California) Pinnacles Pinot Noir 2000
The 2000 vintage saw winemaker Ken Shyver introduce a new approach to Pinot Noir which relied much more on traditional Burgundian techniques, including whole-berry fermentation, gentle punching down of the fermentating grapes, and the use of native yeasts to increase aromatics. This much more "hand-crafted" approach seems to have paid off handsomely. The wine has a healthy ruby colour, and an appealing nose of vanilla, crushed red berries and gentle earthy, truffly warmth. The palate is doused in a big mouthful of sweet strawberry fruit, with a nicely silky texture and a lingering smoke and tobacco note. There's a little tart cherry acidity and a rounding-out by sweet tannins. This quite simple but extremely nice and luscious Pinot would be a decent buy at its ususal £9.99, but with £3 off it is a top buy.
Safeway £6.99 from £9.99 until January 5th.