Our Favorite Reds for Spring

The Wine Cognoscenti Recommend


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Julia Crowley

Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir. With Whole Cluster Pinot Noir, the stems are not removed and the entire cluster of grapes is placed right into a stainless steel fermentation tank – which takes thousands of clusters to fill. Yeast is added, and the tank is sealed and flooded with carbon dioxide. Within several weeks, the juice inside each grape has turned into wine. The juice is then captured from the bursting berries, filtered to remove impurities, and results in a fruity wine with low tannins. The entire process (from the vine to the bottle), takes just three months. This lighter and fruitier Pinot Noir is meant to be consumed within 1 to 2 years. Typical characteristics of Willamette Valley Vineyards Whole Cluster Pinot Noir include vibrant cherry and raspberry fruits highlighted by tobacco. The mouthfeel is juicy, soft and well rounded with super fresh acidity.  

Julia Crowley

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  • Snooth User: rossmary00
    1049805 2

    Dear Snooth, I'm not certain where your wine cognescenti hang their hats, but I don't recognize the names from this vast area between East & West coasts, esp. Chicagoland. I'm the wine columnist for the Daily Herald, published in & around Chicago & would be happy to represent the Prairie Division in Snooth. Please contact me at Rossmary00@aol.com. Good wine & health 'til then, Mary Ross

    Apr 02, 2014 at 1:19 PM

  • Mary Ross, are you the same Master Sommelier I met years ago in Chicago when I worked at Four Farthings???? The daughter of a liquor distributor, one who told me that in order to learn wine when she was young that she forced herself to taste 6 wines a day, regardless of how she was feeling?--Lucy (then Francis) Rogers

    Apr 02, 2014 at 1:29 PM

  • Snooth User: intellmkt
    1418066 30

    Why would someone include a wine in "My Favorite Wines for Spring" and then, in the wine review, say "needs two years."?

    Apr 02, 2014 at 3:05 PM

  • Snooth User: Richard Jennings
    Hand of Snooth
    780161 126,347

    Fair point Intellmkt. The Occhipinti Frappato is usually ready to drink when released, but the 2010 was a little tighter than usual. That tasting note dates back to when it was released. I'd say you're in good shape reaching for this Frappato this Spring, any vintage you can find.

    Apr 02, 2014 at 6:42 PM

  • I don't know about Chicago but I'm in Milwaukee and the Helioterra Pinot Noir is available here.


    Apr 02, 2014 at 9:29 PM

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