At Louie's Wine Dive, we do more than serve great wine, we learn about great wines every day. We do this through conversation – with winemakers, with each other, and most importantly, with our guests. We hope that the articles here will continue the discussion and help demystify the world of wine.
Learn about wine grape varieties and the regions around the world where they grow best.
The history of winemaking is also the history of trying to find the words to describe the amazing variety of flavors, aromas, and sensations in every wine glass.
Wine and food are the perfect combination – they both elevate the other and open up new possibilities for enjoying a good time with friends and family.
Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir continues to be all the rage in the domestic wine market. The Sonoma Coast ranges from windswept cliff-bound vineyards on its northern border with Mendocino to the gently rolling hills in the south by San Pablo Bay. These vineyards are site specific ‒ the soils and climate differ greatly from one vineyard to the next. However, they are ulitimately defined by the cold Pacific Ocean and the elements produced therein, importantly including the Pacific fog which in some areas of the Sonoma Coast rolls in daily, settling densely in lower elevations.
Sonoma Pinot Noir is characterized by its bold black cherry and spice notes. Pacific Heights features ripe plum and raspberry with black tea notes, and soft tannins with texture in the finish. This 2015 Pacific Heights Pinot Noir will be heavier bodied than its Chilean counterpart, Right Wave, and stand up to heartier dishes. Best served with a slight chill.
Right Wave is a fresh and fun Pinot Noir sourced in the Leyda Valley, located between the great Humboldt current and the awe inspiring Mt. Aconcagua. The Humboldt Current begins in the Antarctic and drives cold water north along the western coast of South America. This has the effect of cooling the Leyda Valley, creating that rare balance of temperature optimal for growing the delicate Pinot Noir grape.
Mt. Aconcagua rises in the southern Andes to the north and east. This mountain range, and Mt. Aconcagua in particular, are massive, rising to an elevation of 22,841 feet. My experience in this region remains one of wonderment. Unlike other well ventured wine regions, this land and its winemakers have many potential viticultural areas yet unplanted. If you learn the wines, such as the Terrunyo Concho y Toro we have featured, much value can be found in and around the Leyda Valley as much wine has yet to make it to large consumer markets such as the United States.
Chilean Pinot Noir is brighter, lighter & fresher in style than Pinot Noir from the traditional Burgundy region of France. Generally you will taste Bing cherry and cranberry. Best served with a slight chill.
To learn more, visit waveserieswines.com.
- Whitney Vinzant, President, Louie's Wine Dive
Iron Horse was a pioneer in the Green Valley, within the Russian River viticultural area of Sonoma County. The vision of founders Audrey and Barry Sterling has always been Burgundian, prominently focused on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. As a result, Iron Horse has a longstanding reputation for quality. This area is wonderfully scenic, serving as a grand retreat from the bustle and pomp and circumstance often found in the heavily touristed Napa Valley. It generally grows much better and enjoyable Pinot Noir as well.
As in the French tradition, the land at Iron Horse is managed in blocks according to soil type and aspect. All pruning, canopy management, irrigation and cover crop decisions are determined on a block-by-block (and sometimes even vine-by-vine) basis, considering both the vintage at hand and the long-term needs of the land. The result is a wine that is a perfect expression of the grape and the land where it was grown. The 2012 Iron Horse Pinot Noir first featured in Kansas City in January 2019.
But don't just take our word for it! Take notes and follow along with our tasting guide to start picking out details of the wines you love. Or come in to chat with our sommeliers at any Louie's Wine Dive restaurant.
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