From Publishers Weekly
Pinot noir is the moodiest of grapes: at its best, it can be velvety and complex, a good pairing for both seafood and red meat; but its temper can change quickly, as the wine is fragile and unstable. As Haeger explains in this comprehensive guide to the wine, "pinot can show beautifully from barrel and then suffer an acute case of bottle shock. It can taste ethereal one day, but then close down to a shadow of its former self." No wonder, then, that its taken American producers so long to master pinots personality and develop wines that rival Frances burgundies. But they have. Though Haegers discussion of terroirs and his instructive essays ("The Rise of Pinot Noir in North America," "Winegrowing and Winemaking," etc.) may appeal only to serious oenophiles, the good news he shares is for everyone: "the food-friendliest wine on earth" now has scores of excellent American producers. Heager profiles 72 of them in this volume, many of them smaller vineyards that casual wine drinkers may not yet have heard of. Thus Heager succeeds in giving wine lovers a deeper and broader appreciation of the grape than any top-ten, five-star list could deliver.
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"An impressive work, scholarly and masterful. Haeger's book paints a thorough portrait of pinot noir in America today - what's happening, where, and with whom. Wine lovers will gain a broader understanding and appreciation of pinot noir wines; aficionados of pinot noir will find the book a bible to feed their passion." - Mary Ewing-Mulligan, MW, coauthor of Wine for Dummies and President of the International Wine Center; "Haeger combines the skills of a reporter with those of a poet in this definitive study of one of the world's great wine grapes as it is grown and vinified in North America - combining solid research and illuminating interviews with vivid descriptions of that most important thing: what the wine actually tastes and smells like." - Colman Andrews, Editor in Chief, Saveur; "John Haeger has written an engaging, thought-provoking book that every pinot noir lover will find fascinating." - Karen MacNell, author of The Wine Bible "Finally, a book to demystify pinot and explain how American craftsman winemakers turn out wines made from Burgundy's legendary grape. Pinot noir pairs exceptionally well with a wide variety of foods, making it one of my personal favorites - and the ideal choice when dining out." - Bradley Ogden, author, chef, and co-owner, Lark Creek Restaurant Group"