Monday, January 17, 2011

**+ $$ Saintsbury Carneros Pinot Noir, Napa Valley, CA, 2003 - Wine Review and Rating

Find Saintsbury Carneros Pinot Noir at WineZap.

Original Review, December, 2009:

By way of background:With this Saintsbury Carneros Pinot Noir, 2003, we'll be trying a mid-level pinot noir that has been cellared for six years since vintage date.  It is designed to accompany a broth-based chicken casserole dinner.  Let's see what we'll find with the dinner...

In the glass:The Saintsbury Pinot Noir shows solid mid-deep velvet red.  Still no bricking at the edges, which you might expect with this age.  So far, a good sign of life and vibrancy still left in the wine.

On the nose: Poured without a decant and swirled vigorously, a vibrant nose accompanies the color, bringing classic pinot noir notes of knitted, mashed strawberries served on an old oak tray. 

On the palate:First notes are a gentle, slightly oxidized, upper-palate squeeze of dry red currants along with a corresponding acid twang.  Slowly, dry plum notes fall along the sides of your cheeks, bringing a light tannic berry along towards your teeth.

And the finish: Holds in the dry raspberry/strawberry space for a few poignant moments, then releases.

In summary:Not all that I recall past recent-vintage Saintsbury Carneros Pinot Noir experiences to be.  So I can only go with two stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.  I can award a plus, however, since I get the distinct impression that more is promised, either by decanting, or with the right food pairing.

Updated Review, one year later, January, 2011:  Nose is tired and funky now, like strawberry mashed potatoes.  So is the palate, limp and gone... Following long decant, full day kept cool in partially filled bottle:  Shy nose, bright, acidic body.  Better now than without decant, but not up to the level of the earlier sample.

Find Saintsbury Carneros Pinot Noir at WineZap.

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