Wine Review: 2012 Laetitia Reserve Pinot Noir, Arroyo Grande Valley, California

Figuratively, this is Laetitia’s Tête de Cuvée and is made with individual barrels Eric Hickey (winemaker) deems “head of the class”, representing the best of each vintage.

On initial taste, the Laetitia Reserve Pinot noir starts out very vanilla cherry cola yet manages to mature into a very round and supple Pinot noir with flavors of Ecuadorian chocolate, signature cherry notes and a hint of soy and Shiitake mushroom broth. It finishes lavishly with vanilla cream and bright cherry notes. For you clone heads, this wine is a blend of Dijon 115, 667, 459, Pommard 5, Wadensville 2A and Martini selections.

This is a very food friendly wine, which would go well with traditional food pairings like foul and salmon. If you are willing to break all paring rules (many would argue most fish does not pair with red wine, yet I say phooey) get yourself a fillet of Sturgeon, sauté it up and serve it with Marc’s Tuscan Relish. This relish is relatively easy to make—combine pancetta, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, capers, kalamata olives, basil, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil into a bowl. Let is marinade for about an hour, then place the relish on top of the fish and get ready for a taste treat. The bright red fruits and good acidity in the wine make for a perfect pairing that will knock your socks off.

Rating: Very Good (88) | $40 | 14.5% ABV

Cave des Vignerons de Saumur Saumur-Champigny