2016 Philippe Pacalet Nuits-Saint-Georges Pinot Noir

$148

Clean and fruit forward this rich red is well-structured with traces of wild berries and musk on the nose that lead to a smooth, velvety palate that conjures hints of salinity and with a solid underlying minerality.

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Pinot Noir

This elusive and delicate light-bodied grape is a winegrowers dream, but can be difficult to achieve. Stubborn, yet flirtatious, Pinot Noir is tantalizing creating a beautiful dance between the grape and the winemaker. The resulting light red wine can be nothing short of spectacular. Loved for its red fruit and spicy characteristics, its also a great food partner.

Look for notable regions including Burgundy, France, Central Coast or Sonoma in CA, Willamette Valley in Oregon, and Pfalz or Baden in Germany as well as many other regions around the world in New Zealand, Australia, Chile, and Argentina.

Burgundy, France

Burgundy, AKA “Bourgogne,” is a small, historical region in east-central France that covers a wide area with ranging climates. The large number of producers and appellations within Burgundy can make the region seem complicated even to a seasoned wine pro, but fear not – the region need only be as complicated as you want it to be. At it’s essence, Burgundy can be quite simple. This is the home for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and these wines are second-to-none around the world with an influence that is huge in the world of vino. Burgundy winemakers were the pioneers for premium Chardonnay production and continue to provide a benchmark of excellence in viticulture and winemaking for all of their varieties. 

A vineyard’s location is extremely important here. The location will determine their quality level within the Burgundy appellation hierarchy. The highest-quality vineyards will generally have a south or east facing exposure providing the most access to sunlight and offering protection from westerly winds. These wines may be listed as premier cru or grand cru on the bottle label. Soils in Burgundy can vary depending on the area, but you’ll find many of them are rich in limestone. Pinot Noir is grown throughout the entire region and accounts for a third of the total vineyard area. Although a wide range of winemaking techniques are used varying by producer, a classic “Burgundian” Pinot Noir has red fruit flavors in youth that evolve into earth, game, and mushroom as the wine matures. These wines, as well as Chardonnay, can age for many years if stored properly. Other grape varieties include the red grape Gamay, famous to the Beaujolais region, and the white grape Aligoté. 

There are many smaller appellations within Burgundy, just like Bordeaux and other regions in France. These appellations include Chablis, the Côte d’Or, the Côte Chalonnaise, and Mâconnais. Each of these areas house many respected and highly-regarded villages and vineyards. 

VINEYARDS:

The Pinot Noir grapes that compose this cuvée are sourced from a vineyard called Bas de Combes which receives eastern exposure and experiences a fresh, sunny microclimate. The bush vines, although not certified, are farmed with an organic approach and average 50 years of age. The soil consists of a layer of pebbles and clay set on limestone rock.

VINTAGE:
Frost at the end of April caused a great deal of damage in certain plots resulting in low yields and little to no harvest at all in other parcels. Unaffected plots saw normal crops. Blossoming arrived around June 20th under fresh, humid conditions which produced millerandage, decreasing even more yields. Summer was dry and sunny while September brought fresh weather allowing the vines to ripen in good conditions. With thick skins and low yields the sanitary condition of the grapes remained very good. Despite the low crops quality is excellent in both the red and white wines with Philippe classifying it as a rich and robust vintage that is faithful to its origin. The reds are structured revealing all the assets of a great vintage that enjoyed a year of full sun. The ripe tannins combine with a beautiful freshness.

VINIFICATION AND MATURATION:

Grapes were handpicked and underwent a strict selection process while still in the vineyards. 100% whole grapes were vinified without the addition of sulphites. Pigeage, which is the French winemaking term for the traditional stomping of the grapes in open fermentation tanks, took place twice a day over the course of three weeks. Alcoholic fermentation was carried out with indigenous yeasts and without artificial thermoregulation. Malolactic fermentation followed in oak casks (1st to 3rd fill). The wine was aged in these casks on its lees (in reduction) without racking for 13 months followed by four months in a stock vat.

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