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2012 Premiere Napa Valley Auction Saintsbury Brown Ranch Pinot Noir, 3-bottle Lot

Purchased by at the annual Premiere Napa Valley auction; Removed directly from the winery; Each bottle is numbered and signed by the winemaker; Offered exclusively to customers

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Ends Sunday, 7pm Pacific
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2012 Premiere Napa Valley Auction Saintsbury Brown Ranch Pinot Noir



Premiere Napa Valley Auction

Premiere Napa Valley is an annual barrel tasting and wine auction open only to the wine and beverage trade. Held each February in St. Helena, Calif., the auction is sponsored by Napa Valley Vintners, a professional association of 250 Napa Valley wineries. Proceeds from the auction support the organization’s educational and other programs. The auction is an important event in the wine industry because members make special cuvées for the auction. Winemakers make a barrel or less of their auction cuvées. Premiere Napa Valley wines, which are Cabernet Sauvignons or other red varietals, are not widely available to the public. Restaurateurs and retailers who purchase these cuvées market them as the “best of the best.” As part of our commitment to bringing rare and fine wines to our customers, participates in the Premiere Napa Valley auction and each year purchases a cuvée which we offer exclusively through our auctions.


United States, California, Napa Valley, Carneros

Carneros AVA, also known as Los Carneros, is at the southern end of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys at the top of the San Francisco Bay. The 8,000 vineyard acres are mostly planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, both of which thrive in the district’s cool, marine climate. Carneros became an AVA in 1983 and it has attracted foreign wine companies along with local producers. It has been especially appealing to European producers of sparkling wines including the giant Spanish cava producers Codorniu and Frexinet, and the French Champagne house Taittinger. Codorniu in Carneros is called Artesa, and Frexinet’s Carneros brand is Gloria Ferrer. Taittinger calls its Carneros winery Domaine Carneros. The European producers also make still wines in Carneros.


Red Wine, Pinot Noir

This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.


2012 Premiere Napa Valley Auction Saintsbury Brown Ranch Pinot Noir

Auction 17 / Lot No. 50 Saintsbury is in the Carneros appellation in southern Napa Valley. It was founded in 1981 by Richard Ward and David Graves. The men met as students in the winemaking program at the University of California at Davis. They decided to focus on Pinot Noir, which in the early 1980s was rarely produced in California. The pair named their 53-acre estate after George Saintsbury, an early 20th century English writer and wine connoisseur. Saintsbury makes several Pinot Noirs and a few Chardonnays. They purchase some of their grapes, and have also produced Syrah. Flagship wines are vineyard-designated Pinot Noirs from Brown Ranch. Wine writer James Laube has noted that “Saintsbury has been a model of intelligent wine making on several counts. The winery’s style emphasizes ripe fruit flavors and supple textures and the ratio of quality to price is high.”

Winemaker’s notes: “What a difference a year makes! From our shortest crop ever at one ton per acre in 2011, to a year of bounty in 2012 when Mother Nature was extra generous with both remarkable quantity and stunning quality….(The Brown Ranch blocks) are located at the back of the ranch. Planted here on the most exposed promontory with the rockiest of droughty soils is the great Pommard clone, which thrives in these challenges….(This wine) encompasses the mantle of great site adversity, draping the broad shoulders of the kingly Pommard in a coolly wonderful growing season capped with the best Indian Summer experience since 1999 – in a word, magnificent!” Aged in French oak barrels, 40% new, for 11 months. Only 20 cases produced. The winemaker is Jerome Chery, a native of France who earned his oenology degree from the University of Burgundy.