You likely already know about Chateau Montelena’s upset victory at the famous 1976 Paris tasting, but did you know the Bacigalupi’s provided the fruit for that winning Chardonnay? Charles Bacigalupi was a dentist in Healdsburg and his wife Helen was a pharmacist but they shared a love of the land and a dream to own vineyards. In 1956, the opportunity arose and the couple purchased 121 acres planted to Zinfandel, Mission, Golden Chalice and Muscat. At the urging of their friend Paul Heck, Charles added six acres each of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, foreseeing the future demand for world-class grapes. They still provide fruit for some of Napa’s most sought-after names, but now they showcase their own wines as well.
The 2019 Pinot Noir has a medium ruby color and an earthy nose, with tree bark, mushroom, leather and aniseed notes over a core of red and black berries. The palate is soft, juicy and earthy with a spicy finish.