Graceful, light, lovely, and thankfully varietal in character, the 2003 Praxis Monterey Pinot Noir offers all the beauty and charm of the great Pinot Noir grape, without an edge. Beautifully scented, this cool climate Pinot Noir conjures an appealing array of aromatics: cherry, blueberry, cedar, oriental spice, and vanilla. Light to medium weight in the mouth, the Praxis Pinot Noir follows through on the palate with a wonderful silky textured feel, plenty of cherry-cola fruit, and deft touches of spice, orange peel, and vanilla. Moreover, a seven-month stay in French oak has framed this wine in the best possible light, while complementing the wine’s natural flavors. Bright and racy to the finish, this is one fine example of Pinot Noir. Enjoy it often, with or without fanfare, as it requires little aeration before blooming in the glass at temperatures between 60°-68° F.
“Two glasses are all you need to enjoy this wine,” commented one panel member. “It would be a shame not to enjoy this wine with someone else, or to be unfortunate enough to have only one glass of it to drink,” he added. Well, these comments just about say it all. The 2003 Praxis Monterey Pinot Noir doesn’t require accompaniments to shine. Nevertheless, this wine’s bright acidity and lovely textured flavors and feel make it a natural partner for light foods. Veal, poultry, and assorted vegetarian specialties provide particularly satisfying accompaniments. Tender strips of corn fed chicken breast in a Marsala cream sauce constitute one such favorite offering. Fettuccini Alfredo and Pasta Primavera are two other winning accompaniments with the Praxis Monterey Pinot Noir. Grilled Ahi tuna, served with foccacia and a lightly herbed aioli, offers yet another match that could have been made in culinary heaven. Enjoy!
The erudite Bill Arbios, longtime winemaker and consultant for Jarvis, Lyeth, Fieldstone, and Souverain wineries among others is the artist and scientist behind Praxis. Praxis, the Greek word for practice, is hardly something Bill Arbios lacks; he has made wine for more than three decades, but Bill is a modest fellow with a lot of talent who likes to get things right. Bill and his patient wife Susan launched Praxis several years ago as an outgrowth of their Arbios Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, which first debuted in 1993 with a mere 125 cases. Today, the entire production of Arbios Cellars remains at a modest 3000 cases – more than ample testimony to Bill’s insistence that “winemaking is not like being in a factory – it’s creating a work of art … winemaking defines the essence of my life; transforming a challenge into a vision of elegance, grace and power.” Praxis wines are all 100% varietal offerings. In fact, most of this property’s wines are even produced from a single vineyard. Bill Arbios believes in allowing the nature of the grape variety and the natural terroir to express themselves in his wines. Consequently, he eschews blending as well as excessive manipulation. Bill’s philosophy is simple and can be summed up in the words of Bill’s early mentor, Lee Stewart: “buy the best grapes you can, spend more money than you can afford on the barrels, and don’t screw it up.” Essentially, this is the secret to great wines. Unfortunately, many winemakers miss the simple logic here and continue to manipulate their wines until they lack focus and are nearly unrecognizable. From Praxis, you can count on receiving only real wines that reflect individual grape varieties and their respective terroirs. Presently, the Praxis line of wines include a very tangy quaffable Sauvignon Blanc, a classic delicious, perfectly balanced Viognier, a lovely Burgundian style Pinot Noir that puts many of its French cousins from Burgundy to shame, a spicy Syrah, and a powerful full throttle Merlot.
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