Through this wine, one can trace the history of pinot noir at Domaine Carneros. In 1992, we made our first two barrels and called it The Famous Gate. For the past twenty-nine years, we have carefully cultivated three small blocks of the Swan selection. Each block is located at a different vineyard; two are in Napa, and one on the western, Sonoma side, of Carneros. All blocks were planted between 1998 and 1999.
This 2019 vintage of the Famous Gate Pinot Noir opens with enticing aromas of
cooked cherries, red currant, cranberry, and cedar with a top note of mint. On the
palate, there is sweet Bing cherry, black tea, sassafras, and Asian spice.
The 2019 growing season started with saturated soils thanks to abundant winter and spring rains. Cooler weather throughout the summer meant plenty of time for flavors and aromatics to develop, and an early heat spike in August helped push the ample crop of grapes to full maturity, with a harvest start date of August 15th. September weather cooled a bit for a more leisurely harvest of our chardonnay and pinot noir. The wines that resulted show the unique Carneros growing conditions which produce balanced wines with ample fruit and hints of savory elements.
In this iteration, there are three supporting characters - the iconic “Swan” clone is
complimented by “Dijon 115” and “Hanzell”, to create the highest expression of our
estate grown Carneros terrior. This wine was aged in barrel (51% new) for 16 months,
which lends supple tannins and warm savory spice. While poised and delicious to drink
now, the bright acidity and persistence of the palate provide evidence for graceful aging.
Food Pairing Notes
We recommend pairing this exquisite wine with equally interesting dishes such as
Moroccan lamb tagine with orange and ras el hanout, or fig and prosciutto pizza with