Etude Carneros Estate Pinot Noir 2004
Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
The inaugural release of Etude Carneros Pinot Noir hails from their vineyard tucked away in the far northwest corner of the Carneros appellation. Unlikecustomary Carneros acreage, which is largely uplifted bay bottoms with soils composed of clay,the soils on the Etude Estate site are variations of volcanic origin. They are well drained, rockyupland soils. Combining these soils with the extreme western location closer to the PacificOcean makes this site a decidedly distinct destination.
Etude's goal is to produce a distinctly styled Pinot Noir of the highest quality, a wine that can satisfy any "Burgundian" urge and yet beproud of its California roots. The 2004 Estate bottling is bright and engaging with aromas of cola, cranberry and graham crackers supported by subtle notes of nutmeg. Beautifully structured and lush, the mouth is loaded with complex layers of cherries, brown spices and hints of roasted meats that surround silky tannins that persist throughout a long finish.
International Wine Cellar - "Good bright red-ruby. Perfumed aromas of raspberry and loamy earth; this conveys an impression of sweet Burgundian funk. Intensely flavored and bright, with pure flavors of raspberry and violet. Lovely ripe acids give precision to the wine. There's a slight wildness to the berry fruit but little of the candied character apparent in many North Coast pinots from the 2004 vintage. Finishes firm and bright. From vines picked mostly in August."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2004 Pinot Noir reveals a dark plum/ruby color, sweet forest floor, pomegranate, plum, and cherry notes, medium to full body, superb integration of wood, acidity, and tannin, and an attractive, complex finish. Already drinking well, this wine should continue to drink well for another 5-7 years. "
Burghound.com - " Initially the nose displayed noticeable oak but with extended airing, it lessened and became all but invisible and allowed the ripe dark briar and earth aromas to take center stage. The medium full flavors are nicely concentrated with an attractive natural sweetness and underpinned by moderate tannins that should permit 4 to 7 years of positive evolution. This is delicious yet serious and finishes with fine balance and none of the greenness that sometimes negatively affects Carneros pinots. In sum, this is solid juice that will repay extended cellar time."
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The underlying philosophy at Etude Wines is that winemaking begins in the vineyard, long before the grapes are harvested. Winemaker, Jon Priest, believes that superior grape growing diminishes the need for intervention by the winemaker, resulting in authentic varietal expression. View all Etude Wines
About CarnerosView a map of Carneros wineries
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.
Notable FactsBoth 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.
About CaliforniaIt'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.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost 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.