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Pinot Buys in Tough Times

These days I am experimenting with optimism and I encourage you to do the same. It is unfortunate and even ironic that Pinot Noir from one of the greatest vintages EVER in California - 2007 - are arriving at a time when many pinotphiles are scaling back wine purchases. 2007 was blessed with perfect weather throughout the growing season all over California. During my travels in the last six months along the Pinot trail in California, I was struck by the consistent high quality of the Pinot Noirs from this vintage. Wines in barrel are very precocious and promiscuous, offering unusually good drinkability early on. In addition, there is plenty of Pinot Noir to go around, unlike the next vintage - 2008 - where frost, rain, hail and heat during the growing season severely restricted yields. The 2007 Pinot Noirs from Oregon are perfectly fine as well, more classic in style than the densely fruited and higher alcohol wines of 2006.

Small producers of Pinot Noir will be hard hit by reduced consumer spending. Many wineries are offering incentives including free shipping and 10-20% reductions in price for buyers of 6 to 12 bottles. This is an opportunity to scoop up incredibly good Pinot Noir at reduced prices. Examples: Benovia Winery - free shipping on purchases of 6 bottles; Kistler - free shipping on purchases of 12 bottles or more; Dutton-Goldfield - 15% off case purchases; Paul Mathews - 20% off for club members; Loring - 20% off case purchases ($40 a bottle includes shipping); McPhail - free shipping in February; Red Car - 10% off to mailing list members Halleck - 2006 Three Sons Cuvee, 4 bottles for the price of 3, 8 bottles for the price of 6 and a full case for the price of 9 including free shipping. Inquire about discounts offered by your favorite wineries.

I would encourage you to patronize your favorite Pinot Noir producers, even if you are not able to buy your usual allocation. Every little bit helps. Some have called me a Pinot pimp and I have never denied the charges. That said, a couple of years from now when we emerge from this financial fiasco, you will be happy that you scored some choice bottles of Pinot Noir from the 2007 vintage.

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