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Saintsbury Carneros Pinot Noir 2001

Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
  • WS87
0% ABV
  • JS92
  • WE91
  • JS92
  • WW91
  • WE90
  • WW92
  • WE90
  • WE92
  • WE90
  • BH88
  • WS88
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Winemaker Notes

The moderate climate and proximity to San Francisco attracted grape growers to Carneros as early as the 1850's. In 1983, the area became one of the first American Viticultural Areas (AVA). Since then, Carneros has become synonymous with fine Pinot Noir from California.

Saintsbury harvests from as many as twelve different vineyards within Carneros. Each lot is made into wine separately and later evaluated for its individual merits and what it can bring to the final blend.

Production techniques at Saintsbury emphasize gentle handling of the fruit throughout the winemaking process. The grapes are picked by hand and brought to the winery in half-ton bins. From the bins, the fruit is loaded directly into the stemmer-crusher, where the roller bars are spaced such that roughly 30% of the fruit enter the fermenter as whole berries.

During fermentation, moderate temperatures are maintained and the pumpover regime consists of a gentle irrigation three times per day. After fermentation and extended maceration, the wines are racked into barrels where they complete malolactic fermentation and remain undisturbed until blending begins the late Spring. The barrels at Saintsbury are from new to three years old. They are all French oak, coopered to our specifications in Burgundy by Seguin Moreau and Francois Freres.

The Carneros Pinot Noir spent ten months in barrel; 40% of the barrels were new. The wine is concentrated and full, with classic Pinot Noir character: cherry and berry flavors dominate both nose and palate with some deeper tones contributed by our new vineyard. The balance and depth of flavor are excellent and while delicious already don't let its youthful attraction fool you - this wine will benefit from bottle aging.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 87
Wine Spectator
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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. 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.

Pinot Noir

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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.

Perfect Pairings

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.

Sommelier Secret

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.

HNYSAYPNC01C_2001 Item# 54533