Number 100 on Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of 2004!
Fruit for the Carneros Pinot Noir was destemmed, but not crushed, and fermented warm to a maximum temperature of about 91°F. Once the structure, color and flavor of the wine appeared optimum, the tanks were drained and put down to barrel just barely sweet, so that the last couple Brix finished fermenting slowly in barrel over a matter of weeks. After nine months of barrel aging, the wine was racked and filtered with no fining before bottling.
The deep ruby red color is an initial clue as to the power of this wine. The nose exhibits a delicate balance between primary fruit and rich, meaty, savory notes. A deep, black cherry aroma intermingles with subtle blackberry, cassis, roasted meat, wet earth and Provençal herb notes. The wine is creamy and mouthfilling on entry with a strong cola impression at midpalate that leads to vanilla and tar on the long, broad, red cherry finish.
The bold flavors of a slow-roasted rosemary and garlic pork loin will highlight the wine's red fruit components while standing up to its rich flavors. As a side dish, a mushroom and pancetta ragout provides earth flavors and fat that will accentuate the earthiness of the wine and balance its firm structure.