As the rain slanted down onto the vineyard around Copain Wine Cellars, just outside this town in northern Sonoma County, Wells Guthrie, the proprietor, poured a glass of one of his 2006 pinot noirs. The wine was fresh and light with aromas of flowers and red fruit. Even in the gray dimness of his tasting room I could see my fingers on the other side of the glass through the pale ruby wine.
It was vibrant and refreshing, nothing like the dark, plush, opulent wines that have made California pinot noir so popular. Mr. Guthrie used to make wines more along those heavier lines, but not anymore. After the vinous equivalent of a conversion experience, with his 2006 vintage he renounced the fruit-bomb style in favor of wines that emphasize freshness and delicacy. "It got to the point where I didn't want the wine to be fatter than the food," he said. "Wine should make you think of what you want to eat."
From Mendocino and Sonoma through the Santa Cruz Mountains and Arroyo Grande south to the rolling hills of Santa Barbara County, a rebellion is brewing...
I'm not keen on that fruit-bomb style myself.
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