Friday, March 27, 2015

Acacia Carneros Pinot Noir, 2004

The label on this 2004 Carneros Pinot mentions rich flavors of blackberry and cassis. Ten years after the vintage date, these flavors are no longer present, or at least not very prominent. They have been replaced by mature smells and flavors that I consider even more attractive. But not every taster will agree with me.

Negative signs of maturity include some browning color at the rim and a medicinal hint when the wine is first poured. After that, everything I get is positive: unique floral, spicy notes along with more typical Pinot smells of pomegranate and ginger. It's really worth coming back to for sniff after sniff. Lots of complexity and interest. The texture is as silky as you would expect from a good Pinot Noir, and there is a nice peppery finish. On the second night, after being re-corked, the magic of the nose has faded away, but the wine still drinks well with no hard edges.

Acacia's Carneros Pinots have a good reputation and sell for $30 to $40 a bottle. I don't usually buy them, but this was available at auction for $10. It was an opportunity for me to taste this wine at what I consider full maturity, and I am not disappointed. I am generally more interested in Pinot Noir wines from Anderson Valley, Sonoma Coast and Russian River, and I have had several wines much older from these appellations that showed much better. If this is typical of Carneros Pinots, then I will stick with the more northerly appellations.

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