Thursday, October 20, 2011

Row Eleven 2008 Vinas 3 Pinot Noir

Row Eleven

A recent trip to Louisville provided a serendipitous chance to eat at a favorite restaurant, Proof on Main. The restaurant blends culinary traditions of Italy and the American South it also adjoins the 21c modern art museum so it is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach.

For the wine selection, my friend Gary and I opted for a wine neither of us had tried before, the Row Eleven 2008 Three Vineyards Pinot Noir.

Row Eleven is a California winemaker with a focus on Pinot. They make Pinots including Santa Maria and Russian River wines. Vinas 3 is a blend of Sonoma, Santa Barbara and Monterey vineyards.

The first sip seemed a bit tight. As we enjoyed our first course of butternut squash soup with chocolate brioche, cilantro and green curry, we were pleased to notice that the versatile Vinas 3 was a nice pairing.

My main course was Iowa Berkshire pork with honey crisp apple, rye and pecan. Gary opted for the Pacific Sturgeon. By this time the wine had opened up beautifully. Pinot and pork is a heavenly combination and this certainly is the case when enjoyed with friends in a sensational restaurant. The Pinot was also a good match for the tasty sturgeon.

The Vinas 3 was smooth with rich cherry flavors, light tannins and a tasty finish. It seems single vineyard or block wines are all the rage now, but this wine shows that skillful blending of regional grapes can artfully capture the taste of California Pinot Noir.

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