Pinot Noir is well-known as a finicky grape that, if planted in the right spot, can express the terroir like no other. Carneros was among the first of California’s cool-climate AVAs to prove that the “right spot” need not be in Burgundy to make a wine that is subtle, elegant, complex and sublime. Castle Rock’s Los Carneros is a fabulous value, delivering a smooth and heady mix of fruit and spice. Lamb, chicken, salmon or light pasta dishes would pair well with this versatile wine.
Producing low-priced wine is not difficult in California – as long as one uses undistinguished central valley grapes. Yet Castle Rock Winery sells premium, handcrafted wines from the best appellations in California, Oregon and Washington at prices that match those wines labeled “California.” Castle Rock Winery’s secret to providing “appellation wines at affordable prices” is to operate as a kind of “virtual winery,” owning neither its own vineyards nor a winery. Instead it maintains close, long-term relationships with around forty growers in such areas as Monterey County, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Willamette Valley and Colombia Valley and leases state-of-the-art winemaking facilities in all three states. Winemaker August "Joe" Briggs works closely with the growers to ensure they produce the best quality fruit while overseeing the winemaking at the same time. This unique method of operating allows Castle Rock to avoid the “money pits” of land and fancy buildings that sink many wineries and focus everything on securing the best grapes and crafting delicious wines. Since the beginning in 1994, Castle Rock has focused particularly on Pinot Noir, making distinct bottlings from such key Pinot districts as Carneros, Russian River Valley and Willamette Valley. However, over the years the winery has also branched out into other popular varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel and Riesling. Though an oft-repeated wine country adage goes, “it takes a fortune to make a small fortune in the wine business,” Castle Rock Winery has shown there is a way to make captivating wines for the discerning drinker without deep pockets.
|Bottle Size||8.5 x 30.0|
|Case Size||33.5 x 25.5 x 30.5|
87 points – Wine Enthusiast; 87 points – Wine Spectator.
Earthy black cherry aromas are set off by notes of licorice and eucalyptus. The palate is bright and refreshing with layers of cinnamon, spice, black cherry and vanilla oak, ending with a long velvety finish.
Fermented and aged in stainless steel.