Grape Desire

February 2010
Written By: 
Chris Widnell

Like most of us, Pinot Noir needs a little TLC, too.

Under ideal growing conditions, Pinot Noir is a temperamental varietal, but 2007 proved especially challenging with West Coast rain. Growers who picked their grapes at the wrong moment made disappointing wines. But one label was sensitive to its crop and unveiled a standout wine: California’s Schug 2007 Carneros
Pinot Noir.

As he likes to tell the story, Walter Schug started his own operation in 1980 because he couldn’t convince Joseph Phelps Vineyards, where he was winemaker, to produce Pinot Noir. The Carneros is his flagship Pinot, and the 2007 is a pleasure to drink now. It has Pinot Noir’s characteristically intense berry flavor, and yet the tannins are well balanced. It’s food friendly, has enough character to work well with many dishes, and would make any dinner a
special occasion.

Lucky for us, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Schug’s 2007 Carneros—delicate, earthy, with a hint of fruit—would make a fine addition to any romantic meal, and is available at various stores and restaurants throughout the Grand Strand: Pawleys Wine and Spirits, and Surf Beverage on Pawleys Island; Red Bank Wine, and House of Wine and Cheese in Wilmington; and Micky Finn’s, and The New York Butcher Shoppe in Florence. It’s on the list at Collector’s Café in Myrtle Beach, Little Dipper and Brasserie du Soleil in Wilmington, and several clubs in the area. You can also special request that a shop obtain it from Schug’s distributor, Grapevine. So, raise a glass this Valentine’s and toast Schug’s tender, loving care.