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2007 Paraiso Pinot Noir 

Santa Lucia Highlands, California / $19-$25 Retail

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Santa Lucia Highlands has garnered critical acclaim for the American Viticultural Area's (AVA) fine Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. Located east of Monterey, Paraiso's vineyards are some of the oldest in the area planted with Pinot Noir. The wine is aged 18 months in new and old French oak. In the glass, it offers seductive aromas of cherry, plum and hints of white pepper, earth and vanilla spice. On the palate, the Burgundian-style wine features berry flavors, spice, soft tannins and a lush, acid-balanced finish. Enjoy it with salmon, tuna, roast fowl and game, and grilled chops and steaks. Buy it at: Partysist and Cellars of River Ridge. Drink it at: Emeril's. — Brenda Maitland

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