Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Beyond Walla Walla: Saintsbury Carneros Pinot Noir - 2009

Once again, this is my attempt to blog about another wine that is not produced in the Walla Walla Valley. I taste many wines, from all over the world, almost every day and many I think are fine to okay to ehhh.  However, every so often a wine will grab my attention.

I kept reading that Pinot Noir from the Carneros region is some of the finest Pinot Noir around, especially some of the finest in California.  So I decided to discover for myself and helped myself to a sip of Saintsbury Carneros Pinot Noir - 2009

Saintsbury was established in 1981 by David Graves and Richard Ward. They were both UC Davis grads and met each other during a brewing class. Their goal was to define terroir from the Carneros region, focusing on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  Today, Saintsbury remains at the forefront of Pinot Noir in California.

At first note of the glass I noticed that this was not going to be any wimpy strawberry-colored Kool-aid looking wine.  At first sniff in the bowl of the glass I noticed that this was not going to be the usual strawberry and herbal nose. At first sip, well -- that told the story about this Pinot Noir. 

The rich and dark red color was pleasing to the eye and gives you some insight that there will be some tannins coming along shortly. Dark fruit of black cherry, plum and even a hint of black tea on the nose.  I was right about the tannins as with the first sip and to the finish, there was the right balance of tannins and acid. Flavors of dark cherry and plums came through and with a hint of spice - a little nutmeg.  

Saintsbury Pinot Noir is a very elegant wine and a wine to enjoy with foods that go beyond the traditional and canonical Thanksgiving turkey. I would pair it with wild mushrooms, ham, brisket and even Boeuf Bourguignon - - or just slowly sip on it.  Enjoy! 

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