Beautiful Slopes and High Elevations
Very often, when talking about wine and vineyards and geographic locations, the term 'High Elevation' gets thrown around. High elevation is synonymous with good quality, but why? Simply, the answer lies with the sunlight the vines receive and the cooler temperatures of being so high up. Vineyards that are higher in elevation tend to receive more direct and more concentrated sunlight; this leads to greater color concentration and stronger tannins. And then the cooler temperatures, especially at night, slow down the ripening process. What this does is increase the production of flavor compounds in the grape skins and the cold air helps the grapes conserve their acidity, which leads to more elegant and more age-worthy wines.
Using Belle Pente Pinot Noir as a launchpad for our tasting this week, we're going to be enjoying some really great reds from some truly beautiful places and situated on high elevations. And you know us, we love doing side-by-side tastings around here, so we'll be going with two Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs (the aforementioned Belle Pente being one of them. And then a pair of Garnachas (Grenache) from super-high vineyards in Spain, nestled against the Pyrenées Mountains.
As a sidenote, Belle Pente translates to Beautiful Slopes in French, hence the theme for this week (and where the Willamette winery took its name). Conversely in Italian, Belle Pente translates to Beautiful Regrets. Come on out and enjoy some wines from beautful slopes with us. Beautiful regrets only!
See you Wednesday!
The Wine Shop Team