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Saintsbury Garnet Pinot Noir 2003

Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    In 1983, Saintsbury adopted the proprietary name "Garnet" to distinguish this perfumed and fresh style of Pinot Noir from our more full-bodied wine that is labeled simply "Carneros Pinot Noir".

    Garnet is produced entirely from Pinot Noir grown in the Carneros district. Our aim in creating each vintage of Garnet is to produce a refreshing, early drinking style of Pinot. One that is full of cherry, raspberry varietal fruit, enriched and developed by aging in French oak barrels.

    We are often asked if we use a different winemaking technique during fermentation in order to produce a lighter wine than our Carneros Pinot Noir. To understand fully one must start in the vineyard. Saintsbury purchases Pinot Noir grapes from fourteen different vineyards, and each of these lots is made into wine separately. We use our experience to judge which techniques will bring out the best in each vineyard's grapes.

    After pressing, the wines are barrel-aged separately to allow them to show us their potential. After five months in barrel, a representative sample is drawn from each lot and evaluated. We discuss the merits of each lot and then make trial blends, with the goal of producing wines that will properly represent our three Pinot styles. In early Spring the lots selected to become Garnet are blended and the wine is then bottled in early summer. The remaining lots continue for further barrel aging until just before the next harvest when the Carneros Pinot Noir and the Reserve blends are bottled.

    We are extremely pleased with the 2000 edition of Garnet. A lighter red wine does not succeed as a shadow of bigger ones: rather, it should be enjoyable on its own terms for the right combination of freshness and extract, grace and length. The '00 has the same bright, refreshing fruit we've come to expect from this bottling: the raspberry, cherry, strawberry fruit is complemented by some typical Carneros nutmeg and clove spice. This affordable Pinot Noir is a perennial favorite during the holidays, and complements a wide variety of dishes.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Saintsbury

    Saintsbury

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    Saintsbury, , California
    Saintsbury
    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.

    California

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    Responsible for the vast majority of American wine production, if California were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest wine-producing nation. The state’s diverse terrain and microclimates allow for an incredibly wide-ranging selection of wine styles, and unlike tradition-bound Europe, experimentation is more than welcome here. Wineries range from boutique to massive corporations, and price and quality are equally varied—plenty of inexpensive bulk wine is made in the Central Coast area, while Napa is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive “cult” wines.

    Just about every style of wine you can imagine is made in California, from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still to sparkling, light and fresh to rich and full-bodied. Each AVA and sub-AVA has its own distinct personality. In the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and other Bordeaux varieties dominate, as well as Sauvignon Blanc. Sonoma County is best known for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel. The Central Coast has carved out a niche with Rhône blends based on Grenache and Syrah, while Mendocino has found success with Alsatian varieties such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer. With all the diversity that California has to offer, it is certain that any wine lover will find something to get excited about.

    Chenin Blanc

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    Responsible for some of the world’s highest quality white wines, Chenin Blanc doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. Unquestionably at its best in its birthplace of the Loire Valley, Chenin Blanc can do it all—from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still or sparkling. Perhaps Chenin Blanc’s greatest asset is its ever-present acidity, maintained even under warm growing conditions. Chenin Blanc is also widely planted in South Africa, where it is occasionally labeled as “Steen,” and to a lesser extent in California.

    In the Glass

    Chenin Blanc ranges from austere to richly sweet, with aromas of McIntosh apple, honey, beeswax, jasmine, hay, and quince. When grown in warmer regions, Chenin Blanc develops richer, tropical-fruit flavors, such as pineapple and melon, as well as ripe stone fruit. Often these wines carry some residual sugar.

    Perfect Pairings

    Cool-climate Chenin Blanc has the structure, austerity, and chalky acidity to work with antipasti or unadorned seafood, such as oysters and shellfish. Off-dry styles work well with the sweet-and-sour nature of Thai and Vietnamese food.

    Sommelier Secret

    There are several appellations throughout the Loire Valley devoted to producing different styles of Chenin Blanc. Vouvray, Saumur, Anjou, and Savennieres are known for excellent dry and off-dry wines; Vouvray, along with Montlouis, Bonnezeaux, and Quarts de Chaume, produces glorious late-picked sweet wines whose high sugar levels are offset by Chenin Blanc’s hallmark acidity. Sparkling Crèmant de Loire, Saumur, and Vouvray provide delightfully affordable and flavorful alternatives to Champagne.

    GLO7569615_2003 Item# 77676

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