Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Bouchaine Vineyards Pinot Noir

Bouchaine Vineyards

2004 Pinot Noir
(Carneros ~ Los Carneros)

When Michael Richmond, a longtime progenitor of Los Carneros took over Bouchaine several years ago, he faced the task of putting this property back into the public’s consciousness. After falling from grace sometime back in the late 80s, Bouchaine has undergone many changes, including its winemaking team. With this 2004 Pinot, I believe that Richmond has fully resurrected this property.

The wine – not unlike the unassuming but complex Richmond – is full of character with deep, earthy tar and mineral fronted by wild cherry and backed by substantial tannins and a goodly, palate-cleansing dose of acidity. It’s a true representation of what a Carneros Pinot can be and blows any notion of a wimpy, translucent cherry-flavored pop wine – a Carneros caricature – out of the water once and for all.

Most important of all perhaps, is the fact that Richmond brought this wine in at under 14 percent alcohol (the listed percentage is 13.5 percent), which is where a cool-climate Pinot from the Carneros should be.

It’s a blend of Dijon, Pommard, and Swan clones from Bouchaine’s estate vineyard that overlooks San Pablo Bay and from the dry-farmed Gee Vineyard next door. The wine was barrel aged in 30 percent new French and Hungarian oak. There were 6,500 cases produced. And I like the price.

Reviewed August 23, 2006 by Alan Goldfarb.

The Wine

Winery: Bouchaine Vineyards
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Pinot Noir
Appellation: Carneros ~ Los Carneros
Grape: Pinot Noir
Price: 750ml $28.00

Review Date: 8/23/2006

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.