Domaine Carneros is a famous Californian wine producer founded in 1987 by the Taittinger Champagne in a joint venture with US wine importer Kobrand.
It has now become one of the leading producers of sparkling wine in this Southern area of the Napa Valley.
Here in the Carneros AVA and the 350 acres of vineyards surrounding Domaine Carneros classic Chateau-style building, the cooling influence of the breeze coming from the San Pablo Bay allows for making vibrant Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines, both in still and sparkling expressions.
Find below the wine reviews, information and tasting notes of the two most iconic and representative Pinot Noirs still red wines by Domaine Carneros in California.
How Good are Domaine Carneros Pinot Noirs?
Watch the Review & Tasting Comments in Video
Learn about Domaine Carneros, where they come from and what they taste like in the wine tasting video below, or read on below it for the full wine tasting comments and information.
2015 Domaine Carneros Estate Pinot Noir, California
Score: 90/100 points
Domaine Carneros Estate Pinot Noirs is made from 100% sustainably-frown Pinot Noir sourced from estate grapes as the name indicates.
The Domaine grows 12 different clones of Pinot Noir and combines them to achieve the desired style.
After de-stemming, the grapes were put through a “cold soak” to extract maximal flavors and color. Fermentation took place in small open-topped vats over the course of twelve days. After pressing off, the wine was aged into French Oak barrels for 10 months before being bottled.
2015 Vintage Dom. Carneros Estate Pinot Technical Facts
Appellation: Carneros AVA
Brix at Harvest: 24.0 – 24.8
Final pH: 3.55
Final Acid: 0.60g/100ml
Overall Review Notes & Tasting Impressions
A super juicy, fragrant, and lively Pinot Noir that features bright and powerful, pungently-fruity aromas of raspberry, grapefruit and lime, as well as deepening slightly-jammy strawberry notes.
The palate is smooth with a warm body and a coating velvety texture. The wine bursts into a combination of lively crisp fruity tones, a wealth of peppery and minty spices, sweet clove and nutmeg, a hint and vanilla and oaky caramel.
An enjoyable and very approachable Pinot Noir yet featuring serious complexity and depth of flavors. A lively and interesting tasting experience, from the many layers of flavors it features in a joyful and comforting way.
2015 Domaine Carneros The Famous Gate Pinot Noir
Score: 91+/100 points
This is what how Domaine Carneros describes their The Famous Gate Pinot Noir cuvée: “The Famous Gate” pays homage to our deep commitment to Pinot Noir. For the past 25 years, we’ve carefully cultivated 12 separate clonal selections in a wide variety of soils, providing a complex range of Pinot Noir expressions. Our 300 acres of Estate vineyards, passion for Pinot Noir, and dedication to artisan winemaking methods make e Famous Gate a wine worth seeking.”
Being a special selection of some of the estate’s best Pinot Noir grapes, ‘only’ three clonal selections were used for this 2015 vintage: Swan (87%), Dijon 115 (9%), and Pommard UCD-5 (4%).
After de-stemming and cold soaking of the grapes and their skins for five days to extract color and aromatics, fermentation took place in small open vats, and the “caps” were punched down three times daily. The wine was aged in French oak barrels made by Burgundian coopers for 15 months including the makes of Rousseau, Francois-Frères, and Cadus.
Overall Review Notes & Tasting Impressions
A complex and ripe caramelized Pinot Noir. Dark ripe griotte, plum, and blackberry are among the generous fruity characters that dominate both the aromatic and the flavor profiles.
Powerful but elegant sweet spices as well as pungent oaky caramel, chocolate, and toffee add many layers of depth and amplify the natural wine’s weight and imposing presence.
A very smooth palate delivers powerful upfront fruit intensity, augmented by a generous body, a salivating acidity, and complex layers of flavors delivered with deep finesse.
A fascinating tasting experience!
You can spend much time and get much enjoyment from tasting this wine over and over again, discovering something new at every sip.
A charming, both refined and complex yet powerful Pinot Noir, middle ground between the acidic expression of a Burgundy red, and the bold expression of a warm climate New World Pinot.
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