2006 Pinot Noir Carneros
Pinot Noir •Estate Grown
California: Carneros (Sonoma & Napa)
What We Say
If you are visiting us for the first time, Welcome! The Wine Spies feature one exceptional wine each day – and we only bring you wines that we ourselves seek out and love. Always, the wines are great. Sometimes even better than that, as is the case with today’s wine from Ardiri Wine.
FREE SHIP AND SPECIAL CASE ALERT: Today, if you buy in multiples of six bottles, we’ll ship for free, and we will include a special display box from the winery. Use Promotion Code PINOTSPY.
Mission Codename: A Wine well traveled
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Recover an award-winning Pinot Noir from one of the best Pinot-growing regions in California
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Ardiri Wine
Wine Subject: 2006 Carneros Pinot Nior
Winemakers: John Compagno and Gail Lizak
Backgrounder: The Carneros region, which straddles the southernmost reaches of both Sonoma and Napa counties, and is a region revered for producing some of the best Pinot Noir on the planet. Of course one could argue that, domestically, Oregon is also a champion producer of Pinot. One of the interesting things about today’s wine is that it was born in Carneros, pressed, vinified, barrel aged and bottled in Oregon, by a premier Oregon winemaker – and then returned to California
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Light garnet and somewhat luminescent in color with pick and garnet edges, excellent clarity and slow legs
Smell – Medium intensity with a herbaceous (tomato vine) and earthly quality reminiscent of a true Burgundy. As this wine opens up hints of sweet caramel emerge from under the tart fruit of cherry and raspberry that is accompanied by slight tomato vine and gunpowder
Feel – Medium bodied with firm but not overpowering tannins and good acidity that softens as it breathes
Taste – Initially slightly austere but opens up with a well balanced palate of fruit, earth, vanilla and oak. Hints of gunpowder and a subtle caramel pop-corn flavor component are also present
Finish – Medium long finish with lingering fruit, earth and toasted oak
Conclusion – This is a really interesting Pinot Noir that embodies best-of qualities of Carneros, Oregon and even Burgundy, France, finding a balance of all three. Present here are Carneros fruit-flavors, French aromas and Oregon mouth-feel, each complimenting each other with delightful interplay. This bright, fruity and aromatic Pinot Noir is a real treat for any fan of Pinot Noir.
Special Note: Extended decant for best results.
Today I feel vindicated! I have proof that the deployment our Top Secret GIGGLES has finally paid off! Central Command was deeply skeptical that the system would even work, and they certainly railed against the cost, which had soared to more than 5x the original estimate.
For those of you that missed the briefing, here is a summary of the GIGGLS system:
_The Wine Spies GIGGLS system (Genome Intel GeoLocating Grape Latitude/Longitude System)
In short, the GIGGLS system is a tracking system that is able to track the life-cycle of the grapes from an individual vineyard, from vine to crush facility to fermentation facility to bottling location to warehouse to vendor. After that, for privacy reasons, no further tracking occurs.
GIGGLS tracks grapes, then the subsequent juice and, later, the wine made from these grapes. Our satellite network measures minute tachyon particle emissions unique to Grape, Vineyard and Terrior. Satellite data is fed to GIGGLS, which parses and collates the data, utilizing a sophisticated proprietary algorithm and allowing the tracking of movement. Present in the algorithm are mechanisms which transmit alerts to our Agents. A number of these alerts are preset, but can also be custom configured._
For the last 24 months, the GIGGLS system has undergone an extensive data collection and analysis phase. On April 1st, 2008, the system went live. The first Alert I received was for today’s wine.
So peculiar was the life cycle of today’s wine that I thought that the system had malfunctioned. The wine in question, a 2006 Carneros Pinot Noir from Ardiri, seemed to have been grown in the fabled Carneros region in Napa Valley and then was crushed and subsequently transported north to the state of Oregon where, according to transmitted genetic markers, it underwent barrel aging and bottling. Later, it was transported back to California, where GPS coordinates place it at the winery’s secure storage facility.
This all seemed too unbelievable, so I went undercover. Long mission short, I confirmed all of the facts that the GIGGLS system had reported. This wine had taken this interesting journey and, like a traveler, wizened from her worldly excursions, this wine seems to have benefited as well!
What the Winery Says
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Top Secret infrared imagery of gift box.
Awards & Accolades:
Affairs of the Vine 6th Annual Pinot Noir Shootout 2008:
Third Place (Women’s Shootout Panel)
4 of 4 Hearts (“Love at First Sip”)
Jerry Mead’s New World International Wine Competition – Bronze Medal
About The Winery:
“Ardiri” is Sicilian for “taking a risk” and can also mean ‘being consumed by fire". Ardiri thus defines our concerted efforts to personally nurture a small but demanding vineyard in the Carneros appellation of Napa Valley. The vineyard’s unique Pinot noir clones have generated a traditional harvest of quality fruit that have been blended in French oak to form a striking and complex vintage especially complementary to meals. We hope you enjoy this elegant wine and its special meaning for us.
The winemakers, John and Gail, are both long-time Napa residents who did most of the physical and manual vineyard and winery work themselves, pruning, picking, sorting, bottling, etc. The red “double helix” symbol references their full-time careers in the molecular and diagnostic field of DNA testing as well as the scientific understanding that Pinot noir has the most genetically unstable DNA of any grape varietals.
Appellation: Carneros Napa Valley, California
Color: Moderate to full ruby red
Nose: Black fruit, sweet cherry
Finish: Slighly acidic, silky, elegant