I bring this wine to your attention since it is only in magnums and was conceived as a wine for parties and family celebrations. This Pinot Noir was made to celebrate my sister Illa who left us in 2005. The case of wine is two magnums, since it has two different labels, but is the same wine. Illa liked good Pinot Noir and this is certainly that. Since it is in magnums, the occasion of opening one must be special. It is a wine for drinking in company, something Illa enjoyed. It is the kind of wine that when finished, you regret there not being just a bit more to last a bit longer to continue the pleasure of the moment. Illa Pinot Noir 2005 would be wonderful for the upcoming holidays. There are not many magnums left of this Russian River and Sonoma Coast pinot noir blend.
An elegant wine with strength, it is straightforward and gracious; decisive yet not harsh. Alcohol is 14.3%, typical for ripe pinot noir yet not overbearing. Since it is in magnum, it will keep well should you wish to age it further.
This work is a great treasure of wine literature by a noted professor of English Literature published in 1920. No longer able to drink, Saintsbury reminisces about what he did drink and what he liked or not. Prof. Pinney, of the magisterial two volume classic, The History of Wine in America, and noted Kipling scholar, has edited and annotated this edition of NOTES. All of the references Saintsbury makes and all the wines and drinks are annotated, allowing us to understand some of the most obscure names and references. Pinney has produced the definitive edition of this important work on wine and drink in English.
This was the most important technical work on winemaking in California at the end of the 19th century. Rixford was a practicing winemaker and wanted to expound on correct processing technology to other producers in California publishing his work in 1883. Paul Draper, winemaker at Ridge Vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains, acknowledges his debt to Rixford, as being the first book on winemaking he read. As Paul writes in his preface to this 125th anniversary edition, “Rixford’s book is historic among American wine publications and remains a practical introduction and guide today.”
This 125th anniversary edition was produced as the first in a series of seminal works on food and wine to come out of the new Robert Mondavi Institute on the UCDavis campus. This edition is faithful to the original; elements being taken from the Rixford copies in Special Collections at UCDavis’ Shields library. This reprinting comes at the opening of the RMI, the centennial of UCDavis, and the 125th anniversary of the original printing. Even today, California producers could profit from reading this work. 1,000 copies printed, 600 for sale from Corti Brothers.
The Modoc Plum, also known as the Pacific Coast Plum is the rarest fruit on the West Coast. It grows only on the border between California and Oregon and is used by only one producer, Stringer Orchard. Wild, the variety propagates by runners and grows in thickets. The Stringers make wine, wine jelly, and three preserves from this plum. Its botanical name is Prunus subcordata because of its size and shape. Tart and aromatic, it makes very fine preserves and, in the case of the spiced preserves, could be used as an accompaniment to pork or turkey. This is a unique fruit product from northern California/southern Oregon. The preserves are in 11oz jars; jelly 10 oz jar.
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