Ancien Wines Carneros Pinot Noir 2012
Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
- red wine
- Smooth & Supple
- 14.4% abv
Rose and violet mix with strawberry, cranberry, and cherry. Ripe plum fills in along with the usual darker touches of graphite, cola, clove, and pepper. The palate is full of textural, mouth-coating tannins lightened with a bright acidity. Fresh cherries, raspberries, and plum dominate. The fruit moves towards a long, tannic finish with earthy spices and piquant minerality.
Ancien Wines Winery
Ancien Wines are made by Ken and Teresa Bernards. Ken focused on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the 7 years he spent at Domaine Chandon - as Research Enologist and later as Associate Winemaker. Afterward, he honed his skills making the wines at Truchard Vineyards for four years, leaving after the harvest of 1997 to focus on Ancien. He continues to work as a consulting winemaker for a number of wineries. Teresa posesses many years of experience in all aspects of the wine industry, most recently serving as Associate Winemaker at Domaine Carneros.
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Technically a part of Napa Valley, the Carneros region straddles both Sonoma & Napa counties. It's the Napa region closest to the San Francisco peninsula and the San Pablo Bay, which is instrumental in controlling the climate of the area. The winds from the San Pablo bay create a cool weather pattern ideal for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Carneros are delicate, yet complex, with firm structure and acidity. And while the pair are the most popular varieties of the region, some winemakers have branched out, particularly with Syrah. The cool climate Syrah of Carneros is well structured and stylistically similar to Syrah from the Northern Rhone, though often fuller-bodied.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.