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Domaine Carneros Brut 2009

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Carneros, California
  • WS93
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Winemaker Notes

Aromas of baked apple, golden apple, lime zest, honeycomb and vanilla marry with brioche on a very round palate. This graceful wine features a remarkably well-integrated dosage and notes of toasty brioche often found in a fine aged cuvée. The hallmark of Domaine Carneros wines, a luxuriously long finish, rewards each sip. Exceptionally delicious now, this wine will continue to develop complexity for another decade with proper cellaring.

Savor this vintage Brut on its own, or enjoy its pairing versatility with oysters, fish and shellfish, poultry, most Asian cuisine and even rich cheeses.

Critical Acclaim

WS 93
Wine Spectator

A gorgeous sparkler, showing effortless balance. The floral lemon and brioche aromas lead to elegant but complex flavors of creamy raspberry, vanilla and spicy almond.

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Domaine Carneros

Domaine Carneros

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Domaine Carneros, , California
Domaine Carneros
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.

Sonoma County

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for nearly every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa, the region only produces about half the amount of wine, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in both quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River and Sonoma Valleys, Carneros, and Fort Ross-Seaview. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

CGM21639_2009 Item# 126146

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