Domaine Carneros2004 Pinot Noir, Estate
(Carneros ~ Los Carneros)
The folks at Domaine Carneros know a thing or two about Pinot Noir and especially Carneros Pinot Noir. The California sister of Taittinger Champagne (which itself has undergone ownership turmoil recently), Dom. Carneros has been making some of the U.S.’s best sparkling wine for years. It started making still wine from Pinot in 1992 and is now getting it right, from perhaps the Napa Valley’s most challenging region.
This Pinot – one of three made by Eileen Crane – has some proper “brett” aromas in the nose as well as on the palate. (The yeast brettanomyces found in many Burgundian houses which lends a barnyard-like aroma that is to some, a serendipitously positive characteristic of the variety.) Nonetheless, the wine is perfectly balanced with deep, layered flavors of minerality.
The wine spent 10 months in Burgundy barrels, 35 percent of which were new. The listed alcohol is 13.7 percent, indicative of the cool-climate Carneros. There were 7,500 cases produced.
Reviewed January 16, 2007 by Alan Goldfarb.
Other reviewed wines from Domaine Carneros
2002 Brut Cuvee
(Carneros ~ Los Carneros)Dan Berger 7/25/2006
Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.