This superb, handcrafted sparkling wine, immediately reminiscent of the Taittinger style, is marked by an exceptional refinement and finesse. Its brilliant straw gold color is punctuated by strands of persistent, pinpoint bubbles. The subtle, ripe fruit richness of the Pinot Noir is balanced by the elegant depth and structure of the Chardonnay, converging in notes of toast and vanilla which linger in the extended finish.
Domaine Carneros Winery
A joint venture between Champagne Taittinger and Kobrand Corporation, partners who are perfectionists in their fields, Domaine Carneros has established itself since its inception in 1987 as one of California's finest producers of premium quality, methode traditionelle sparkling wines. The inspiration for Domaine Carneros belongs to Champagne Taittinger; the first glimmerings of the concept were shaped in the mind of Claude Taittinger in 1947. The 138 acre estate is situated in the Carneros appellation of Northern California, a 36,900 acre viticultural area which straddles the border between the Napa and Sonoma counties at their southern extremity. The estate's vineyards extend up a slope rising to a crest overlooking San Francisco and San Pablo Bay, with an elevation of 120 to 260 feet above sea level.
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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.
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 & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.