Acacia Vineyard Pinot Noirs are one of the standard-bearers of Carneros. I tasted these wines initially over a
year ago and I found them austere with brisk acidity. During the last year they have taken on more weight of
fruit, acidity has become less prominent, and the wines have become very enjoyable. All the wines are true to
Pinot Noir and bring out the delicacy and feminine charm of the grape. The lesson here is that many California
Pinot Noirs need a year or so after bottling to achieve integration and show true colors. We are all eager for
instant gratification but we need to show restraint and not judge a wine too soon.
2006 Acacia Napa Valley Carneros Pinot Noir
14.4% alc., $28.
Dark reddish-violet color. Cherries,
cinnamon spice, oak and herbs are featured on the nose. Flavors of dried cherries, cranberries with faint oak
in the background. Light and elegant with a brisk lift of acidity on the finish. A reliable daily drinker.
2006 Acacia DeSoto Vineyard Napa Carneros Pinot Noir
14.6% alc., $55.
Takes its time to open in the glass revealing black cherries, berries and herbs.
Ripe, but not over ripe, berry fruit with decent intensity and a touch of savory herbs.
Soft with restrained tannins. Sneaky good.
2006 Acacia Lone Tree Vineyard Napa Carneros Pinot Noir
14.5% alc., $55.
Scents of black cherries, pine
tree and tar. Rich, dark and imposing cherry-driven flavors with some hints of herbs, vanillin and oak char.
Very soft and smooth in the mouth with a good spark of acidity.
2006 Acacia St. Clair Vineyard Napa Carneros Pinot Noir
13.8% alc., $95.
Wondrous aromas of berry patch, bright strawberries, violets and cedar. Very
expressive flavors of cherries, berries, pomegranate with a persistent tang on the
clean finish. A vibrant wine that is hi-strung.
2007 LIOCO Sonoma Carneros Pinot Noir
14.2% alc., 504 cases, $38.
Harvest Brix 24.6º. 7-9-day cold soak, 16-day fermentation in open top
tanks with wild yeast. Manual punch downs. Aged 12 months in neutral
barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. Sourced from an unnamed vineyard near
the Napa/Sonoma County line.
Profusion of plums, currants, oak and
spice on the nose. Very tasty dark fruits that show impressive purity. A
perfectly balanced wine that captures the essence of the fruit with a finish
that lingers for at least 20 seconds. Crafted by a sommelier, it is not surprising that
this is a superb food wine. Very impressive and one of the best wines and most
reasonably priced Pinot Noirs I have had from Carneros in recent memory.
2006 Lost Canyon Los Brises Vineyard Los Carneros Pinot Noir
<275 cases, $42.
Aromas of root beer, raisin and sassafras. The flavors follow
in step. A very ripe fruited wine that is well-crafted and is both soft and smooth
in the mouth. Lovers of Tootsie roll will be attracted to this wine.
2006 Molnar Family Poseidon’s Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir
14.1% alc., $26.
This vineyard was planted by the Molnar family in 1973. It is located at the
confluence of the Napa River and Carneros Creek. Michael Terrien is the partner
and winemaker for the label. The wine is unique in that it is aged in 100%
Budapesti Kadar Tokaj oak.
The nose displays aromas of ripe grapes, raisin and
oak. The flavors carry over the ripe fruit theme with raisins and root beer evident.
There is plenty of tannin but the rich fruit hides it.
2006 Patz & Hall Hyde Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir
14.8% alc., $60.
of berries, oak char and barnyard. Pretty core of berry fruit with an oak sidecar.
Some charm and persistence on the finish which leaves a touch of heat in its wake.
I get the feeling that this wine will become more expressive with another year or
two in the bottle. Good but not great at this point.
2003 Whitethorn Hyde Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir
14.9% alc., $34.
the aromatic profile include cherries, leather glove and seasoned oak. With time,
herb garden takes over. Flavors of ripe berries, root beer and some citrus peel in
the background. The tannins have melted away and there is good persistence on
the finish which is a touch hot.