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Review: Domaine Carneros 2012 Le Reve, 2012 Jardin d’Hiver, and 2016 Pinot Noir

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Domaine Carneros is highly regarded for two wine styles: Sparkling wine, and pinot noir. Today we look at three wines represent both of these universes, including the latest release of the pinnacle of Domaine Carneros’ production, Le Reve.

If you haven’t visited Domaine Carneros in California, it’s well worth planning a trip. More on this below.

2012 Domaine Carneros Le Reve – A beautifully fruity concoction of apples and pears, touched with notes of peaches and lemon. The bubbles are perfectly integrated into a wine that offers the lightest touch of brioche atop a creamy, almost pillow texture. The surfeit of quality is altogether easy evidence why this wine has built a name for Domaine. A / $115

2012 Domaine Carneros Jardin d’Hiver Cuvee Ultra Brut – This new release is available only at the winery, and it was bottled to commemorate a new expansion to the tasting room, a glassed-in conservatory inspired by the designs of Gustave Eiffel and home to a new food and wine pairing menu that looks absolutely delightful. A blend of 58% pinot noir and 42% chardonnay, it’s extremely dry and palate-cleansing, lightly bready and aromatized with notes of crisp green apple, with hints of marzipan, lemon peel, and gooseberry. With virtually no residual sugar it is quickly whisked away on the palate alongside a spritz of perfume. A- / $59

2016 Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir Estate – This is second-from-the-entry-level pinot from Domaine Carneros, and it’s an amazingly good entry. A soulful earthiness kicks things off, offering a distinctly Burgundian body that keeps the fruit component at bay, but within reach. Notes of plum and cherry find friendly comfort in notes of tea leaf and cola, with a touch of cinnamon on the back end. Hard not to love. A- / $42

domainecarneros.com

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2012 Domaine Carneros Le Reve
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Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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