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What is in Misterra?

This pinot noir combies three unusual varieties
This pinot noir combies three unusual varieties
Julia Hollister

J Vineyards had an idea. winemaker Melissa Stackhouse combined three unusual varietals – pinot noir, pinotage and pinot meunier – and held a “name-that-wine” contest.

“Misterra Pinot Noir ($50) was the winning suggestion in the contest we conducted in 2012,” she said. “We love the wine because it is full of mystery, but rooted in the earth. Also, we are pretty certain no other winery can lay claim to using this particular blend of grapes. That earthiness comes through in the uniqueness of the three grape varieties.”

Most growers agree that 2012 was one of the best California vintages in decades.

The grapes for the incredible pinot noir were harvested at night affording natural coolness before delivery to the winery. The wine was aged eight months in French oak barrels that allowed Stackhouse’s team to craft an elegantly balanced wine that shows layered complexity of flavors and aromas.

“I love the rustic flavors in the mouth and the aromatic floral and dried fruit on the nose,” she said. I suggested pairing our Misterra with grilled vegetables, especially Portobello mushrooms. The brooding blueberry characteristics also make it a perfect match for slow-cooked pot roast, grilled wild salmon with rosemary, ragouts or after dinner with bitter chocolate.