Domaine Carneros Pinot Clair is a white wine made from the black-skinned Pinot Noir grape. After a two vintage absence we invite you to celebrate the return of this cult classic. 156 cases produced, available only at the winery. Learn more about this exciting release with a tasting note video with Winemaker TJ Evans.
The wine speaks first through its subtle and elegant nose, which is tightly layered with golden hay, kiwi fruit, and honeydew melon. But, the defining feature of a White Pinot Noir is its texture. Where Chardonnay can be edgy and angular with citrus fruits, the White Pinot has a round, fleshy character. It has an immediate juicy entry that is almost oily, highlighted with white cherries, pear skin, and creamy dairy component evoking crème-brulee.
We start by picking grapes at a maturity level that is greater than those used for the sparkling wines, but not as high as those destined for still Pinot noir. Night picking is a critical step so we can press the grapes early in the morning while they are still cool. A gentle pressing of 1 bar allows us to extract about 90 gallons of juice per ton of grapes before the pigments start to bleed out from the skins. Fermentation began slowly with one of our favorite yeasts, Montrachet.
This year’s edition features 57% Martini selection combined with 43% Pommard clone. The juice components were fermented primarily in neutral oak, with the notable addition of a concrete egg tank. A modest amount (28%) of new water-bent French oak was employed to lift the spice.
Food Pairing Notes
Perfectly paired with foods such as salmon in citrus sauce, risotto, or a sashimi of tuna belly, the diversity of flavors found in this wine are beautifully enhanced by food.