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2008 Aqua Pumpkin Pinot Noir 

Santa Barbara County, California / $16-$22 Retail

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With its cool ocean breezes and great growing conditions, California's Central Coast is producing increasingly better Pinot Noirs. This bottling is a second label from Kenneth Volk Vineyards, whose namesake vintner had great success as an owner/winemaker at Wild Horse before selling it seven years ago. This medium-bodied wine offers deep aromas of ripe cherry and red berries with a hint of cinnamon. Raspberry and cherry charm the palate along with silky tannins, balanced acidity and a long finish. Decant an hour before serving. Drink it with grilled salmon, tuna, herbed veal chops, garlic roasted chicken and any dish with mushrooms. Buy it at: Bacchanal, Dorignac's, Cellars of River Ridge and Acquistapace's Covington Supermarket. Drink it at: Crescent City Steak House, Le Meritage and Crescent City Brewhouse. — Brenda Maitland

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