Pinot Report: 2007 Sanctuary Pinot Noir

“For every beauty there is an eye somewhere to see it. For every truth there is an ear somewhere to hear it. For every love there is a heart somewhere to receive it.” ~Ivan Panin
Pinot Noir is known to many, as a grape of great depth and balance. For many producers especially in the new world, it’s known as the heart-break grape. In Burgundy its ancestral home, it has the well renowned [and may I say well-deserved] reputation for producing some of the very best wines in world and has been doing so for longer than any of us have been alive. For me, these wines do have great beauty, they speak truth in every sip, slurp and even the eventual gulp and with each bottle I confirm my love for this grape.
Just before harvest, weighing heavy upon the vine, you’ll find clusters of Pinot Noir grapes, blue to violet and still some sporting indigo colors and for me that builds the anticipation of the good things to come down the road.
Furthering that excitement, seeing Bien Nacido Vineyards on the label nine times out of ten, I’m getting the style of Pinot, which I know will make me and Mrs. Cuvee very happy, which is the reason why I purchased this wine, without a moment’s hesitation. I’ve never purchased a bottle of wine from this producer before, but knowing this vineyards reputation, I was confident that I was coming home with a winner.
Many vino-sapiens know this grape has a reputation for breaking hearts and not just those producers, but also for the consumer who hopes they can beat the odds and save a few coins by purchasing Pinot Noir’s under the sacred $10 threshold, only to find out later the good ones under that price point are the extreme exception and nowhere near the rule.
Now to that point the wine in today’s spotlight set me back $24, not a king’s ransom by any stretch. But I know for many this price point not going to be a Tuesday evening wine. I get that, but that said this wine would normally sell for upwards of $40 to grab it from their tasting room or website. In a restaurant forget about a wine like this, will sell for upwards of $70 or more. So getting a wine of this caliber for the price point I did, to me be is quite the bargain, one you should consider grabbing, if you have the opportunity. It’s well worth the price of admission, a wine I scored 91 points, a bit less generous than my pals over at WE who have ad-space to sell.
Wondering about how it tastes? Right after popping the cork, whoa an explosion of aromas pops me in the nose; juicy, young cherry-pie-like fruit its main motif. After I get this wine in the glass wow a deep cranberry colored red core. Once in the glass finely tuned smoky red and dark berries give my nose another slap.
After I go in for the first slurp, a bit sappy and gently sweet, offering broad raspberry and cherry-pie crust flavors, notes of smoked meat, wet earth play quietly in the background, with just the right pop of acidity to carry the abundant low hanging fruit.
You will find this supple; a nicely knit-together pinot sporting supple well integrated tannin, which finishes with good clarity and lift on the back-end. It would make an excellent wine for the upcoming holiday activities, including Thanksgiving, as it has many generous properties which lend its self to easy pairing options. Over the next few days, I will be reviewing 3 more outstanding Pinot Noir’s I’ve recently sampled, so stay tuned. Until next folks sip long and prosper cheers!


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