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Wine for Valentine’s Day – Loveblock Pinot Noir from Central Otago 2011

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At first glance, the concept of Valentine’s Day wine is kind of a silly subject. Drink what you and your loved one like. That said, sometimes I like to play with themes.

When I first started to think about this, I was all about Les Amoureuses, a Premier Cru vineyard directly next to Le Musigny in Burgundy. Le Musigny is the smallest Gran Cru vineyard in Burgundy, and wine produced from those vines are hardly accessible to most people. I believe they produce the most perfect expression of Pinot Noir I’ve ever had – unless I have to pay for it.

Les Amoureses is just next door. So “the lovers” are situated next to the “queen.” I say “queen” because that appellation is all about gorgeous and feminine red fruit, as well as all the other incredible variables that make fabulous Burgundy what it is. The French word for queen is reine, not Musigny, so please allow me poetic (ish) license.

At some point, though, we have to come back to earth.

Therefore, my choice for a gorgeous, accessible Valentine’s Day wine is Loveblock Pinot Noir from Central Otago in New Zealand.

This is a medium-to-full bodied Pinot Noir with stunning balance and personality. At about 10% of the price of my beloved Amoureuses, it’s a wine to make love, oops, to love. Whether you’re peeling someone a grape, having a six-course meal or just – you know …. You should find this wine works on so many levels.

It’s elegant but full bodied. Simple but dominating… Yummy but (hmm) yummy.

Obviously, the name has some resonance, but it’s the wine that nails it. This is what I call – and love – a “dirty” Pinot Noir. When you dip your nose into the glass, you'll find yourself immersed in a funky, dirty, sexy wine. It’s dirt; it’s earth; it’s wet leaves; it’s funk; it’s gorgeous fruit.

The wine offers stunning acidity that compels you to go back for more, slightly drying fine-grained tannins for added structure, a firm mid-palate, long length and lovely mixed berry flavors – along with that earthy, dirty quality. Sex in a bottle anyone?

You can find it in Manhattan at Vino Fine Wine and Spirits, ; as well as Zachy’s in Scarsdale and Bedford Wine Merchants in Bedford, NY. In Manhattan expect to pay about $40 per bottle. In Westchester you’ll find it closer to $32.

And Happy Valentine’s Day to you, as well.

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