2017 Au Contraire Pinot Noir
“Brilliant ruby color. Layers of cherry, raspberry and plum with a hint of violet are surrounded by subtle spice. An elegant and silky mouthfeel with fine-grained tannins and firm acidity, showcasing the wine’s ripe red fruit. Pairs well with grilled and roasted meats such as lamb, pork, poultry, duck and light sauces, or with delicate cheeses.” Winemaker’s Notes
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”
This is real deal California Pinot Noir that sells for a song. One of the hardest things to find in the marketplace is quality Pinot Noir under $25. Because of the grape’s fickle nature and low production, whenever we see a high production it usually means this romantic, layered, ever changing grape is being blended with other varietals to “beef it up.” As good as those wines can be, they are not real, pure Pinot Noir. Today’s offer gives you what we hunt tirelessly to secure: quality, pure, 100% Pinot Noir at a stunningly accessible price. Au Contraire 2017 Pinot Noir received a glowing 90 points from Wine Spectator, and we have a one-time low price with free shipping on a case. I was blown away by how good this was for the price. You will be too.
The charming French expression, Au Contraire, was often used by the beloved and late founder of Palm Bay International, David S. Taub, usually preceding an insight that took a turn from conventional wisdom. His son, President and CEO Marc D. Taub, fittingly adopted his father’s favorite saying to dedicate this brand to him to honor his 50 years in the business and his passion, vision and leadership. A blend of Sonoma Coast vineyards from Sebastopol to the Fort Ross Seaview AVA overlooking the Pacific make up Au Contraire Pinot Noir. These warmer vineyard sites sit above the fog line, delivering a cool climate style Pinot Noir with highly concentrated fruit flavors.
Outstanding quality is guaranteed by legendary California enologist Tom Hinde and his experienced team of viticulturists. Tom’s expansive career in California wine spans three decades and brings with it a breadth of industry knowledge. He is involved in every aspect of the growing and winemaking process. This is a team with a load of experience and business savvy, which makes this wine as good as it is for the money.
A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs all the way from the Mendocino County border, south to the San Pablo Bay. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the actual coastal vineyards, marked by marine soils, cool temperatures and saline ocean breezes—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, which are still heavily influenced by the Pacific but not quite with same intensity.
The Au Contraire range of wines comes from top vineyards in appellations known for their stellar style and quality, including the Russian River Valley, Carneros and the Sonoma Coast.