Copain: Exceptional Pinot Noir & Syrah

By Robin Alix Austin

When describing the wines of Copain you could begin with the name. French for buddy or pal, Copain calls to mind someone you enjoy spending time with and with whom you get along well.

At the risk of sounding a bit cliché, Copain produces wines that evoke the idea of a friend. Pleasing, easy to drink and with layers of flavors, these are wines you can – and want to – enjoy often.

Assistant winemaker Mike Lucia shared a taste of five wines from the Healdsburg, California winery during the High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction in March.

Among all of Copain’s exceptional wine, the ones that really stood out to me were from the “Les Voisins” series. Meaning “the neighbors” in French, these wines come from grapes grown on neighboring vineyards in the Anderson Valley and Yorkville Highlands appellations.

Taking a sip of the 2009 Les Voisins Pinot Noir makes you understand why some wine drinkers are so passionate about Pinot. Even if you’re not the biggest Pinot Noir fan, I dare you to taste this wine and not think it’s absolutely delicious.

This Pinot Noir comes from the Anderson Valley and is a blend of three neighboring vineyards. At first it’s bright and juicy, with flavors of ripe cherry, raspberry and blueberry. Then comes some darker notes – boysenberry, white pepper, violet and a touch of star anise. Woven throughout is nicely balanced acidity and subtle minerality from the sandstone and shale soils. It’s silky and supple in the mouth, with a long, satisfying finish.

The 2009 Les Voisins Syrah is just as elegant but with more intensity. The wine is a blend of three vineyards situated on the same slope of rocky terrain in the Yorkville Highlands. Floral and black fruit aromas introduce a sophisticated palate layered with blackberry, plum, cassis, black pepper, graphite and allspice. Full in the mouth and well balanced, this wine culminates in a finish that has long-lingering spice and boysenberry jam notes.

Now these are the kind of friends and neighbors anyone would want.

For more information on Copain visit

This is part of a series of articles on wines from the High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction. Click here to read more.