Cuvaison’s Small Lot program (typically wines produced under 300 cases) has been a goldmine for Cuviason and winemaker Steve Rogstad who shows his deft touch with nearly every wine in this portfolio. Using Pinot Noir heirloom clones (including Swan, a personal favorite of mine) this is clearly a step away from most Pinot Noir on the market. This drinks more Burgundian than California. The fruit is rather muted but more macerated (Steve calls it “elegant intensity”) and the support comes from the green tea leaf, light tobacco, earthy morel, dried thyme and spice notes. It is ripe with savory elements. The acidity is spot on weaving the fruit, tannins and oak together into a seamless wine that demands food. I had this with a Moroccan spiced couscous, but this particular wine has a range of pairings to offer. ORIGIN: Napa Valley, Los Carneros. ALCOHOL: 14%

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