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The Carneros region is a set of low slung hills overlooking San Pablo Bay, the northern reach of the much larger San Francisco Bay. It used to be home to cattle and sheep (Carneros in Spanish) ranches characterized by cooling breezes blowing off the bay and fogs that linger well into late morning. This caught the attention, among others, of Francis Mahoney. A lover of Burgundy wines, he felt that Carneros had the potential to be a great new world outpost for Pinot Noir. Conducting research, together with the University of California Davis on planting the right clones, the journey began so that nowadays there is no dispute as to this being the ideal region for producing fine Pinot Noirs. Just stand in Mahoney’s Las Brisas (Spanish for breezes) vineyard, face the bay and one can feel the cooling effect. Fleur (French for flower) de California was the brand name Mahoney chose as a tribute to the origins of the Pinot Noir grape. Beautifully balanced, we are presented with classic Pinot Noir notes of red fruits and spices on the nose. The palate is full of crisp cherry and berry flavours leading to a long finish with an enchanting, refreshing sensation. It received a Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Harkening back to the origins of the name and sheep ranching of the past, why not enjoy this wine with lamb skewers drizzled with Tzatziki and a side of couscous.    

2018 Fleur de California Carneros Select Pinot Noir #214775, $27.95.

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