Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Saintsbury 2004 Pinot Noir, Lee Vineyard (Carneros ~ Los Carneros)


2004 Pinot Noir, Lee Vineyard
(Carneros ~ Los Carneros)

David Graves and Dick Ward have been making wine from Ira and Shirley Lee’s Carneros vineyard since almost the inception beginning in 1982. But this is the first time they’ve designated the vineyard on the label. (It’s one of three vineyard-designated Pinot Noirs, also including Stanly Ranch and Toyon.) It’s also the first wine for new Saintsbury winemaker, Frenchman Jerome Chery. Chery trained in Dijon and was the associate winemaker at Littorai for seven years.

The deep purple wine has herbal and mineral notes most assuredly a manifestation of the Lee Vineyard. There are loads of sweet strawberry and wild cherry with lots of elegance, some power and good balance. The tannins are soft for aging up to about 15 years and beyond, if Saintsbury’s track record holds to form.

The clonal blend from Lee is 83 percent Pommard and Swan. The wine spent 11 months in French barrels, 40 percent of which was new. The listed alcohol is 14.2 percent and there were only 475 six-bottle cases produced.

Reviewed November 14, 2006 by Alan Goldfarb.

The Wine

Winery: Saintsbury
Vineyard: Lee Vineyard
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Pinot Noir
Appellation: Carneros ~ Los Carneros
Grape: Pinot Noir
Price: 750ml $45.00

Review Date: 11/14/2006

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.