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Garnet was an inexpensive, easily approachable, early drinking Pinot Noir produced by Saintsbury as far back as 1983. The brand name was acquired in early 2011 by Silverado Winegrowers, the largest independent grower of Pinot Noir for Saintsbury. Silverado Winegrowers also acquired the Garnet winemaking facility.
The Garnet winemaker and partner is Alison Crowe, a University of California at Davis enology graduate who developed her skills at Chalone, Byington Winery and Vineyards, Bonny Doon Vineyard and Bodegas Salentein in Argentina. She is a frequent contributor to Wine Business Monthly magazine and is the author of The WineMaker's Answer Book.
Reasonably priced offerings from the 2009 and 2010 vintages include Pinot Noir from estate vineyards in Carneros (Diamond Vineyards, Stanly Ranch and Champlin Creek), Monterey County (four vineyards) and the Sonoma Coast (Rodgers Creek) and one single-vineyard Pinot Noir from Rodgers Creek Vineyard in the Sonoma Coast. The wines enjoy distribution by Vintage Point throughout the United States and are sold through the Garnet Vineyards website.
2012 Garnet Vineyards Monterey County Pinot Noir
14.2% alc., $20, screwcap. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Smoky oak overrides the fruit in this light to mid weight wine featuring cherry and black raspberry flavors. Smooth, even slightly creamy, and easy to drink, but oak plays too big a role for me to thoroughly enjoy the wine. Score: 86. Reviewed November 19, 2014 ARTICLE »
2009 Garnet Carneros Pinot Noir
13.77% alc., pH 3.67, $20, screw cap. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Fruity aromas of strawberries, red currants and balsam. Has a cooked fruit and porto overtone. Oak-dominated dark plum and black raspberry fruit flavors with hints of dark chocolate and coffee, mild tannins and reasonable acidity. Decent. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »