New Customers Save $30 off $100+* with code OCTNEW30
New Customers Save $30* with code OCTNEW30
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Chateau Carbonnieux 2005
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Surprisingly reminiscent of a Burgundy grand cru such as Corton, this 2005 Pessac-Leognan offers a dark ruby hue as well as beautifully sweet, leafy, black cherry, and smoky aromas intermixed with hints of oak and earth. Not a blockbuster, it is a wine of finesse, delicacy, and purity with lovely balance, good acidity, ripe tannin, and a sweetness that permeates the flavors as well as the tannic structure. It should be drinkable at a relatively young age. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2025.
On the one hand fairly polished, but in the other a wine of real richness and considerable weight, Carbonnieux speaks straight to what is best in the vintage and delivers plenty of well-ripened fruit within a balanced, classically claret-like frame. It may finish a bit of the astringent side at the moment, but it never dries out under the weight of its tannin, and its deep, long-lasting flavors show the kind of fruity buoyancy to make six to eight years of cellaring a risk-free proposition.
A soft but vivid wine, with spice, tannins and acidity over opulently ripe fruit. It is rounded, a wine that is likely to develop well over the next 5–6 years. Impressively drinkable.
Marc Perrin acquired and restored the château in 1956. His son, Antony, currently manages the estate. The gravelly soil at Carbonnieux is perfectly drained thanks to the Eau Blanche stream that carries away any excess water. The 85 hectares of vines are evenly divided between red and white wine varieties. The white wine is fermented and aged in barrel for 10 months. The red wine is aged for 15 to 18 months in barrel, depending on the quality and characteristics of the vintage.
Known for elegant wines that combine power and finesse, Carneros is set in the rolling hills that straddle the southernmost parts of both Sonoma and Napa counties. Its close proximity to the San Francisco Peninsula and the San Pablo Bay is instrumental in controlling the climate of the area. The winds from the San Pablo Bay create a cooling effect ideal for producing wines with crisp acidity and balanced flavors.
This cooler pocket of California lends itself to growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and more recently, Old-World style Syrah. While more delicate than most wines from neighboring regions, these are firmly structured, complex, and full of flavor. Carneros is also an important source of sparkling wines made in the style of Champagne.
One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.
In the Glass
Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.
Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.
Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.