The winery is a project of Jackson Family Wines, and this 2013 Estate Pinot Noir is its debut vintage. A very new winery, but it’s built on some seriously historical dirt.
A Wine History
Carneros Hill is built on the site of the original Buena Vista Winery. In 1857, Agoston Haraszthy (the grandfather of the California wine trade) planted his vineyards on this very spot, naming it Buena Vista Winery. Through the 19th century, the winery produced over two million gallons of wine annually. Sparkling wine was its most popular offering. The double whammy of WWI and Prohibition eventually put the winery out of business.
In the 1970s, Buena Vista Winery was revived several miles from its original location. It is still in business to this day. If you visit Carneros, you should make a point of visiting both Buena Vista Winery and Carneros Hill.
This wine is very nice for a first release. Like most Carneros vineyards, it is planted to old-school clones of Pinot Noir like Swann and Pommard. Those clones give Carneros Pinot its bright bay-leaf flavors, which some folks (incorrectly) attribute to terroir. Classic scents of porcini and fresh flowers on the nose, with a hint of burnt coffee. Cranberry and persimmon flavors are layered on a light-bodied frame with just enough tannins to keep the wine vibrant. The finish steps up into burnt earth and stone. A lingering note of cherry cola is quite delightful.