2016 Copain ‘Les Voisins’ Pinot Noir
Anderson Valley, California
Tastes Like: Dark Cherry, Black Tea, Forest Floor, Cranberries
This rich yet refined style of Anderson Valley Pinot is fruit-forward, yet it still shows beautiful restraint. It offers classic aromas of dark cherry, pomegranate, and spices on the nose, which lead into raspberry coulis, crushed plum, and forest floor on the palate. Medium-bodied, with bright, fresh acidity leading into a beautifully a long, silky finish.
Wells Guthrie began his career not as a winemaker, but as a taster for Wine Spectator Magazine. After tasting through thousands upon thousands of different bottles, he pinpointed the style that most spoke to him: classic French wines. He took a two-year sabbatical to France, where he worked in the Rhone Valley under world-renowned producer Michel Chapoutier, followed by stints at Burgundy powerhouses Frederic Mugnier and Domaine Dujac. This cemented his love of Pinot Noir and Syrah, particularly those that truly exhibited terroir: a sense of place and tradition.
After returning to California he continued his education with the greats – famed vintner Helen Turley, consultant and winemaker for Marcassin, and Ehren Jordan of Failla – before founding his own winery, Copain, in 1999. His wines immediately began earning critical praise, and by 2004 Food & Wine Magazine had named Copain “Most Promising New Winery.” Over the years his bottles developed a trademark elegance and restraint, much like the French styles with which he had originally fallen in love. And he found nowhere better to craft this kind of Pinot than the cool-climate Anderson Valley.
Anderson Valley isn’t as famous as other regions in California, but some of the best Pinot Noirs in the state originate from this under-the-radar Mendocino County subregion. The variety thrives here in the cool, misty coastal climate, which contributes wonderful balance to the grapes. By combining his top-level winemaking expertise with this incredible fruit, Guthrie is able to craft Pinots that can easily compete with the best of Burgundy – but at a fraction of the price!
“Pale to medium ruby, the 2016 Pinot Noir Les Voisins, aged 16 months in 10% new French oak, opens with aromas of stewed black tea leaves, crushed red cherries, fresh cranberries, orange peel, forest floor, and damp earth. Light to medium-bodied, it’s bright and fresh in the mouth with a great balance of fresh fruit and earth character, framed with soft, grainy tannins and finishing long. 3,000 cases produced.” – 92 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate