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Carneros Creek Pinot Noir Grail 2005

Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
  • WS93
0% ABV
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This wine is the result of careful selections of our best lots of Pinot Noir, with judicious use of French oak. Ruby in color, the wine shows a fusion of ripe red cherry and spice aromas, with subtle hints of crème brulee in the background. A lush, velvety texture up front leads to concentrated cherry and blackberry flavors, with hints of vanilla, caramel and cedar in the finish. The wine shows fine-grained tannins, with enough acidity to keep the fruit lively and add length to the palate. Sixteen months in barrel has created a sense of integration and harmony in the wine, which, while drinking nicely now, will continue to evolve for three or so years to come.

"Refreshing ripe, vibrant, complex and fruit driven, with full bodied black cherry, plum and wild berry fruit that's rich and focused, ending with a long, layered finish. Drink now through 2014."
Wine Spectator Hot Wines Jan. 21, 2009

Critical Acclaim

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WS 93
Wine Spectator
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Carneros Creek

Carneros Creek

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Carneros Creek, , California
Carneros Creek
Founded in 1972 by Francis and Kathleen Mahoney and now owned jointly with Bill Hambrecht, Carneros Creek was the first winery to be built in the Carneros district of the Napa Valley since prior to Prohibition. Over the past three decades, the winery has taken a leadership role in the development of California Pinot Noir through its research on clonal selections of the varietal, in conjuction with the University of California-Davis. Based on their research, they identified low-yeilding clones on the hillside vineyards surrounding the winery as producing highly concentrated grapes. These grapes form the backbone of their 1999 Signature Reserve Pinot Noir.

Barossa Valley

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Historically and presently the most important wine-producing region of Australia, the Barossa Valley is set in South Australia, where more than half of the country’s wine is made. Because the climate is very hot and dry, vineyard managers must be careful so that grapes do not become overripe. Some of the oldest vines in Australia can be found here—in the cooler, wetter Eden Valley sub-region, the Hill of Grace vineyard is home to 140+ year old Shiraz vines.

The intense heat is ideal for plush, bold reds, particularly Rhône blends featuring Shiraz, Grenache, and Mataro (Mourvèdre). White grapes can produce crisp, fresh wines from Riesling, Chardonnay, and Semillon if they are planted at higher altitudes where they may benefit from cool breezes, particularly in the Eden Valley.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

YNG101925_2005 Item# 97738

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