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The moderate climate and proximity to San Francisco attracted grape growers to Carneros as early as the 1850's. In 1983, the area became one of the first American Viticultural Areas (AVA). Since then, Carneros has become synonymous with fine Pinot Noir from California.
Saintsbury harvests from as many as twelve different vineyards within Carneros. Each lot is made into wine separately and later evaluated for its individual merits and what it can bring to the final blend.
Production techniques at Saintsbury emphasize gentle handling of the fruit throughout the winemaking process. The grapes are picked by hand and brought to the winery in half-ton bins. From the bins, the fruit is loaded directly into the stemmer-crusher, where the roller bars are spaced such that roughly 30% of the fruit enter the fermenter as whole berries.
During fermentation, moderate temperatures are maintained and the pumpover regime consists of a gentle irrigation three times per day. After fermentation and extended maceration, the wines are racked into barrels where they complete malolactic fermentation and remain undisturbed until blending begins the late Spring. The barrels at Saintsbury are from new to three years old. They are all French oak, coopered to our specifications in Burgundy by Seguin Moreau and Francois Freres.
The 2000 Carneros Pinot Noir spent ten months in barrel; 40% of the barrels were new. The wine is concentrated and full, with classic Pinot Noir character: cherry and berry flavors dominate both nose and palate with some deeper tones contributed by our new vineyard. The balance and depth of flavor are excellent and while delicious already don't let its youthful attraction fool you - this wine will benefit from bottle aging.
Saintsbury specializes in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Chardonnay is fermented and aged in barrels coopered in Burgundy. Three styles of Pinot Noir are produced: "Garnet" is a fresh, lively wine full of cherry and raspberry fruit; the wine simply called Carneros Pinot Noir is a more classic rendition; and the Reserve Pinot Noir is the richest and most fully flavored of the vintage.
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard...Read More About Napa Valley
Pinot Noir(PEE-noh nwahr)
Pinot Noir is a finicky grape. It only grows in
the right climate, with the right soils and the right care. Perhaps because
it is so difficult is why it is so loved. Pinot Noir hails from Burgundy, a region known for crafting the most collectible and sought-after wines from this varietal.
Not only does Pinot reign in Burgundy, it is also...Read More About Pinot Noir
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