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Forefront by Pine Ridge 2009 Pinot Noir 

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This Pinot is ripe with rich fruit yet maintains an impressive elegance. It offers delicious black cherry and plummy aromas and flavors woven with notes of allspice and tangy raspberry liqueur with nuances of mocha and cedar. It’s irresistible alone, and it’s a great choice with salmon, ahi, prime rib, or lamb chops. This was my first taste of this new brand, and I look forward to more from them. A blend of Pinot Noir grown in three counties—51 percent Santa Barbara, 41 percent San Luis Obispo, and 8 percent Monterey—it’s produced by Pine Ridge winery in Napa Valley. The Andrus family founded it, then sold it to Crimson Wine Group which also owns Chamisal Vineyards in Edna Valley. It wasn’t surprising to discover Chamisal Vineyards’ winemaker Fintan du Fresne was responsible for making this very good Central Coast Pinot. Available at Crossroads Liquor in SLO, it’s only $19.99 retail.

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