Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Saintsbury 2004 Pinot Noir , Brown Ranch (Carneros ~ Los Carneros)


2004 Pinot Noir, Brown Ranch
(Carneros ~ Los Carneros)

Dear Reader:

If you read my previous review of the 2004 Saintsbury Toyon Farm Pinot Noir, I said that wine was my favorite of the three single-vineyard designated Pinots from this Carneros producer. Well, I misspoke, slightly. In actuality – and on a technicality – this Pinot from the Brown Ranch, the fourth single-vineyard designated by Saintsbury, is really my favorite. Technically speaking, it’s the only one of the four that is owned by the producer. So, while I liked the others and loved the Toyon, this one from Brown Ranch is my fav – by a slight margin.

The wine, just released, shows black fruit, as opposed to the red fruit aromas and flavors in the Toyon and Lee. It’s also bigger (and more expensive) and even better balanced; and it’s a keeper, I’d guess, for up to 25 years. It’s silky and elegant and a helluva California Pinot Noir.

The vineyard is on some steeper hillsides than one might find typical of the Carneros. Its soils are comprised of indigenous clay loam and volcanic material and was planted in 1992 to Dijon and Pommard clones. Yields are 2.25 to 3 tons an acre.

The wine spent a little more than a year in French oak, 40 percent of which was new. There were 1,850 six-bottle cases produced.


Reviewed November 14, 2006 by Alan Goldfarb.

The Wine

Winery: Saintsbury
Vineyard: Brown Ranch
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Pinot Noir
Appellation: Carneros ~ Los Carneros
Grape: Pinot Noir
Price: 750ml $60.00

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.