Saintsbury Carneros Pinot Noir 2001
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.
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.