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Saintsbury Brown Ranch Pinot Noir 2007

Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
  • BH90
14.5% ABV
  • RP90
  • WE94
  • BH90
  • WS90
  • WS88
  • WS89
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

To produce a single vineyard wine you should be convinced the vineyard has something unique and identifiable to offer. It should be a vineyard that will yield a wine whose intensity and personality you are unable to obtain in your other wines. We knew this about our Brown Ranch after the first harvest of its Pinot Noir grapes in 1995.

There are eight lots that are separately fermented, aged and assessed. And while each has its unique qualities due to clonal, rootstock and terroir differences, there is a consistent thread running though these Brown Ranch pinot noirs. The ranch has a combination of typical Carneros clay loams and cobbly clay loams as well as some volcanic soil types on steeper hillsides.

Wines from this vineyard show more rich earthiness and black fruit than the more red-fruit character of other lots in our cellar. A dark fruit intensity with stunning persistence is a hallmark of this wine. Less than a third of the pinot noir from this, our best vineyard site, goes into the Brown Ranch Pinot Noir each year. It is packaged into six-bottle boxes with a package design that pays tribute to George Saintsbury.

Critical Acclaim

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BH 90
Burghound.com
Here the somber red berry fruit, spice and menthol suffused nose is notably ripe yet somber with a supple and appealingly textured mouth feel to the round and delicious flavors that possess excellent depth and length with very little natural sweetness though there is a trace of warmth.
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Saintsbury

Saintsbury

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Saintsbury, Carneros, California
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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.

Carneros

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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. The cooling winds from the abutting San Pablo Bay, combined with lots of midday California sunshine, create an ideal environment for producing wines with a perfect balance of crisp acidity and well-ripened fruit.

This cooler pocket of California lends itself to growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. Carneros is an important source of sparkling wines made in the style of Champagne as well.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.

ALL9126044_2007 Item# 107110