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Carneros Pinot Meunier, 2013
Chandon crafts its still wines by drawing on experience working with traditional Champagne varietals and by showcasing select parcels from our Carneros ranch, where we were among the pioneering growers and vintners of the region.
2013 was a perfect vintage with long warm days and a dry growing season. We were able to sit back and wait as the grapes ripened on the vine and developed complex flavors. The wines have developed the opulence and balanced acidity during the aging process that will allow them to age gracefully.
Our Carneros terroirs are diverse with rolling hills sloping to San Pablo Bay. The proximity of the bay moderates the vineyard microclimates with morning and evening fog along with afternoon breezes. The cool, extended growing season is ideal for Pinot Meunier and provides the long hang time essential for complexity, intense aromatics and flavor, and finesse. Our Pinot Meunier parcels intended for still wines are on alluvial clay and Haire clay loam soils. The vines sit in a very windy section of the vineyard which allows for very low yields that result in concentrated still wines.
Our Pinot Meunier grapes were sorted and added to open-top fermenters with 20 percent left as whole clusters. All of the wines were fermented using native yeasts. While the wine was actively fermenting, it was treated to daily punch downs and the occasional délestage. After the wine finished fermentation it was transferred to French oak barrels, 20 percent new, where it underwent native malolactic fermentation. Of these French oak barrels, one-third were large format barrels. The wine was aged for 10.5 months and was racked for the first time when transferrred to the bottling tank.
Ripe plum, cardamom and apple sauce spices lead to pomegranate and Bing cherry flavors. The body is round, with a supporting backbone of fine tannins.
Food and Wine Pairing
One of the most versatile red wines, our Pinot Meunier can be paired with a wide range of dishes from roasted beets with chimichurri sauce and smoked trout to mushroom burgers and lentil soup.