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Saintsbury Garnet Pinot Noir 2003

Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    In 1983, Saintsbury adopted the proprietary name "Garnet" to distinguish this perfumed and fresh style of Pinot Noir from our more full-bodied wine that is labeled simply "Carneros Pinot Noir".

    Garnet is produced entirely from Pinot Noir grown in the Carneros district. Our aim in creating each vintage of Garnet is to produce a refreshing, early drinking style of Pinot. One that is full of cherry, raspberry varietal fruit, enriched and developed by aging in French oak barrels.

    We are often asked if we use a different winemaking technique during fermentation in order to produce a lighter wine than our Carneros Pinot Noir. To understand fully one must start in the vineyard. Saintsbury purchases Pinot Noir grapes from fourteen different vineyards, and each of these lots is made into wine separately. We use our experience to judge which techniques will bring out the best in each vineyard's grapes.

    After pressing, the wines are barrel-aged separately to allow them to show us their potential. After five months in barrel, a representative sample is drawn from each lot and evaluated. We discuss the merits of each lot and then make trial blends, with the goal of producing wines that will properly represent our three Pinot styles. In early Spring the lots selected to become Garnet are blended and the wine is then bottled in early summer. The remaining lots continue for further barrel aging until just before the next harvest when the Carneros Pinot Noir and the Reserve blends are bottled.

    We are extremely pleased with the 2000 edition of Garnet. A lighter red wine does not succeed as a shadow of bigger ones: rather, it should be enjoyable on its own terms for the right combination of freshness and extract, grace and length. The '00 has the same bright, refreshing fruit we've come to expect from this bottling: the raspberry, cherry, strawberry fruit is complemented by some typical Carneros nutmeg and clove spice. This affordable Pinot Noir is a perennial favorite during the holidays, and complements a wide variety of dishes.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Saintsbury

    Saintsbury

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    Saintsbury, , California
    Saintsbury
    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.

    Marlborough

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    Home to perhaps the world’s most easily recognizable Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough has a unique terroir that lends a unifying thread to all of its wines. But despite common misconceptions, the wines from this region at the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island are anything but homogenous. With well-draining stony soils and a dry, sunny climate, the vineyards of Marlborough benefit from wide temperature fluctuations between day and night, which helps to preserve natural acidity in their fruit.

    The region’s specialty, Sauvignon Blanc, is beloved for its pungent, aromatic character with notes of exotic tropical fruit, freshly cut grass, and green bell pepper along with a refreshing streak of stony minerality. These wines are made in a wide range of styles, and winemakers take advantage of various clones and vineyards sites as well as fermentation, lees-stirring, and aging regimens to differentiate their bottlings from one another. Also produced successfully here are fruit-forward Pinot Noirs, elegant Riesling, Pinot Gris, and Gewürztraminer, and a wide range of Chardonnay styles, as well as more experimental varieties like Grüner Veltliner and Syrah.

    Sauvignon Blanc

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    A crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character, Sauvignon Blanc is responsible for a vast array of wine styles. A couple of commonalities always exist, however—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. The variety is of French provenance, and is important in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. It also shines in New Zealand and California, while Chile and South Africa are excellent sources of high-quality, value-priced Sauvignon Blanc. High-quality Sauvignon Blanc is also produced in Washington State, Australia, and parts of northern Italy.

    In the Glass

    From its homeland in the Loire Valley, where citrus, flinty, and smoky flavors shine through in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume, to Marlborough, New Zealand, where it is pungent, racy, and “green” (think grass, leaves, gooseberries, and bell peppers) and tastes of grapefruit and passionfruit, Sauvignon Blanc has something to offer every wine drinker. In Bordeaux, it is typically blended with Sémillon and Muscadelle to produce a softer, richer style. In California, any of the aforementioned styles can be emulated.

    Perfect Pairings

    The freshness of Sauvignon Blanc’s flavor—from bell pepper and cut grass to passionfruit, gooseberry, and ripe kiwi lend it to a range of light, summery dishes including salad, seafood, and mild Asian dishes. Sauvignon Blanc settles in comfortably at the table with notoriously difficult foods like goat cheese and asparagus. When combined with Sémillon (and perhaps some oak), it can be paired with more complex seafood and chicken dishes.

    Sommelier Secret

    Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is the proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (an herbaceous aromatic compound) inherent to each member of the family.

    GLO7569615_2003 Item# 77676

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