Blog for Third Street Wine Shop in La Verne. Wine tasting tips, buying guides and winemaker insights.

On the Vine: Pinot Noir

The first in a series of posts highlighting different varietals and the reasons we love 'em.

There are some varietals we always have in stock. These are the wines you know and love. Of course you've got your Cab and your Chard. But just as popular around our parts is Pinot Noir. 

Pinot Noir is a finicky grape dating back to the 1st Century.* It produces some of the most expensive wines in the world (ie some from Burgundy). And fortunately for us, a whole lot of smooth silky delicious wine that's a whole lot cheaper.

What's all the fuss over this seemingly seemingly mild grape? The wine it produces can be nothing short of amazing. Sure, Pinot Noir can be a lighter style wine, but it can also yield great depth. The flavors it produces are often silky and full of textural bliss. Here are some of our favorite Pinots for summer:


Sean Minor "Four Bears" Pinot Noir, 2013.

Exciting dark fruit penetrate the layer of lighter red cherry. Enough body and tannin to stand up to just about any dish. This balance at this price is a real bargain!

Bench Pinot Noir, 2013.

One word: summer. Chill this one down a bit for the perfect companion to light meals on the patio under a setting sun. Vibrant acidity meets juicy strawberry for a refreshing take on the varietal. Only a couple left at the shop!

These Pinots are great, but we haven't even mentioned the 3 Pinot Noirs we've chosen for our pairing this Saturday. Featuring two completely different French takes on Pinot Noir and one from Anderson Valley that will make you swoon. Some tickets still available here.

*Wine Searcher

Featured Winemaker: Vince Kalny

Incendium Wines Logo

Incendium Wines Logo

We love supporting independent winemakers. It is even more exciting when we find an independent winemaker who makes outstanding wine. Add to that an independent winemaker who makes outstanding wine and has local ties? Well, now we just have to share this spectacular find.

Incendium Wines is owned and operated by Vince Kalny. Vince grew up in Glendora, is a Charter Oak High School Alumnus, and still returns to the area often. He's served in the US Air Force and has studied wine-making at Napa Valley Community College and UC Davis. Vince currently works for Cal Fire (in addition to managing his label and making his own wine!). We are pleased and excited to be able to offer his wines. Here is a quick insight into this generous and promising new winemaker:

Matt: You're a busy guy. You've served in the Air Force and as a firefighter. You still work for Cal Fire in Napa. What inspired you to add winemaking to your schedule?

Vince: I love the job (Fire Mechanic with Cal Fire). It gives a real sense of family. Of working for the greater good, in a sense, like the Air Force. Winemakers - we make something for others to enjoy and share with others. The sense of giving back to the community is different, but it is still there. That sense really speaks to my character.

Matt: We love your Cab and Chard. You recently started producing a Syrah, which we're also featuring at our upcoming winemaker's dinner. It has already become one of our favorite summer-time reds. But the Syrah is almost sold out. Will you continue making a cool-climate Syrah?

Vince: Yes. The grapes come from Remembrance Vineyard in Lake County. (Incedium's) next Syrah vintage will be 2014. We've had some great weather up here lately, and this vintage is going to really show it. I just sampled where they're at the other day. The style is really appealing: beautiful flavors, with a little more meat and structure than the current release. There's this delicate bouquet that sits right on top of the wine. Beautiful.

Matt: At the shop, we love to expose people to small production wines. How do you think production levels affect quality of wine produced?

Vince: You know, there are a lot of beautiful, small, boutique wineries. The beauty of winemaking is definitely still retained at that level. Bigger, more corporate driven labels seem to be more about the formula and money-making venture.  I'd like to increase Cab and Chard production to around 300 cases. I still want the grape to express itself for a given year. Smaller production allows for variation - I'm doing slightly different oaking on my 2013 Cab and it's producing this light, subtle clove coming right off the top.
Wine Dinner Coming Up!

Wine Dinner Coming Up!

Vince and his label, Incendium, is proud to support the National Fallen Fire Fighters Foundation - an oragnization that helps out the family members of fire fighters who have lost their loved ones in the line of duty. It is a great way to give back to any fire fighter in this country. This sense of coming together and giving back is a founding principle for Vince's wines.

Stop by the shop to try Incendium Wines. We will be pairing Vince's Chard, Cab and Syrah at this Saturday's Winemaker Dinner at the Corner Butcher Shop in La Verne.