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by Fred McMillin
for October 14, 1997
The Pinot Problem
While the Pinot Noir was planted for use in sparkling wine, the grapes are so good ace winemaker Eileen Crane now also turns out a stunning still Pinot. Critic James Halliday has noted that Carneros Pinot cherry-red berry flavors are "consistently correct, pure and delicate." Eileen's '95 is about as "correct" as you can get...seven clones...100% estate grown... hand harvested in the the coolest morning hours...12 months in 100% French oak...minimum of six months bottle age...some uncrushed grapes included in the fermentation to further magnify the magnificent fruit flavors. My 15 tasters gave it a rare rating of EXCELLENT...not even a hint of that "overboiled cabbage"!
Postscript: What's the origin of the name "Carneros"? Prof. John Baxevanis tells us carneros means "ram" in Spanish. Hence, in the 1830's, General Mariano Vallejo named the sheep-herding region "Rancho El Rincon [corner] de los Carneros" when he issued the Mexican land grant for the area.
Read more articles by Fred McMillin in the eGGsf
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