Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Bouchaine Vineyards 2004 Pinot Noir, Estate (Carneros ~ Los Carneros)

Bouchaine Vineyards

2004 Pinot Noir, Estate
(Carneros ~ Los Carneros)

Michael Richmond, one of the early pioneers in the 1970s to recognize the efficacy of Carneros fruit, has taken over the reigns at Bouchaine. Not only is he resurrecting the early reputation of Bouchaine, he’s also working hard to restore the luster of Carneros. 

With this Pinot Noir, Bouchaine and Carneros are back in the game. In recent years the growers and producers of the region have begun to change the clonal selections of their fruit among other regimens, and it shows here.

The wine is full of character that includes a deepness of earth, tar, and minerality fronted by wild cherry and backed by substantial tannins and a goodly palate cleansing wash of acidity. The wine is drinking nicely now, but over the next 10 years it will reward those even more who have the patience and prescience to wait a bit longer.

Since Carneros is one of the cooler regions of the Napa Valley, with winds and colder temperatures coming in from the nearby Napa River and San Pablo Bay, the conditions lend themselves to holding alcohol levels down. Here it’s a listed 14.1 percent, which is reasonable enough in this context.  

The Bouchaine vineyard is comprised of shallow clay loam to well-drained, cobble-y soil. The aforementioned clones include Dijon 115, 667, and 777, Pommard, and Swan. The wine was barrel aged for 12 months in 75 percent new French as well as Hungarian oak, the latter of which is gaining popularity in California, mainly due to its lower price. Only 868 cases were produced.

Reviewed June 14, 2006 by Alan Goldfarb.

The Wine

Winery: Bouchaine Vineyards
Vineyard: Estate
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Pinot Noir
Appellation: Carneros ~ Los Carneros
Grape: Pinot Noir
Price: 750ml $40.00

Review Date: 6/14/2006

The Reviewer

Alan Goldfarb

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.