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2010 La Merika Pinot Noir 

Central Coast, California

$13 Retail

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With its close proximity to the Pacific, diverse topography and varied microclimates, California's Central Coast offers grapevines warm, sunny days to encourage even ripening and cool ocean breezes and late evening fog to extend the long growing season. After vinification, a third of this medium-bodied wine aged on toasted French staves for three months while 5 percent matured on American oak staves for the same period, adding complexity and texture to its character. In the glass, it exudes aromas of red and black berries, a hint of kirsch, cocoa and spice notes. On the palate, taste cherry, rhubarb and raspberry with some savory herbal undertones and even tannins on the finish. Open 30 minutes before serving for best results. Enjoy it with roast quail or chicken, duck confit, beef short ribs, grilled tuna, broiled salmon and a variety of cheeses. Buy it at: Cost Plus World Markets.

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