Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Stephane Derenoncourt’s 2006 California wines are beauties

By Jessica Yadegaran
Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010 at 11:41 am in Corkheads.

Stephane Derenoncourt, the Bordeaux superstar who consults for dozens of wineries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, has released his own wines made from grapes grown in California.

I had been holding on to these wines, waiting to open them for just the right meal. Last night, alongside a maple-and-balsamic glazed pork chop, I popped open the 2006 Syrah from the Hudson Vineyard in Carneros. Derenoncourt also makes a Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon and a Merlot from the Stagecoach Vineyard on Atlas Peak.

According to a February post on, Derenoncourt’s intention was to  make California-style wines with an emphasis on freshness and elegance. You won’t find heat or high sugar on these wines.

The Syrah was a beauty. On the nose, it had subtle aromas of bacon fat and leather in harmony with black fruit and spice. The flavors are similar. I also got some white pepper on the finish, which is silky, long, and lacks that bite of big tannins we often get when tossing back a Cali syrah. Definitely a fresh and vibrant take on the wine. I loved it and really look forward to tasting his other California wines.

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