2014 Pinot Noir
Los Carneros, Napa Valley
Club Price $44.00
Delicate aromas of raspberry, cherry and strawberry set the tone for this beautiful Estate grown Pinot Noir. The flavors are carried through on the palate accompanied by bright acidity giving the wine superb balance on the palate. There is a hint of classic Carneros rose petals and violets lending a nice floral component. The oak is subtle with a light toasty flavor behind the forward fruit. The 2014 vintage is one of great complexity and elegance that amazes the senses and continues to evolve in the glass.
Varietal Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Technical Data: ALC: 14.5% by vol.; TA: 5.7 G/L; pH: 3.63
Cooperage: 10 Months in 100% French Oak Barrels (50% New)
After hand-harvesting in the early morning to preserve freshness and fruit integrity, the grapes were delivered to the winery where they were de-stemmed but not crushed. Winemaker Ana Diogo-Draper cold soaked the berries in stainless steel tanks for four days a method which gently extracts color and flavor without harsh tannins. Following a 14-day fermentation using native and other yeasts, the wine was placed in French oak barrels (50% new) for 10-months, then racked once prior to bottling. Our Estate Reserve Pinot Noir is 100% grown, produced and bottled by Artesa.
Our Carneros Estate Vineyard is divided into many small blocks, each with its own microclimate and terroir. The blend was ultimately created from grapes grown on a hill site across the street from the winery, as well as from vines growing just below the winery. The site across the street has the highest elevation 420 feet of any Carneros vineyard and its soils, which consist of lightly textured silt loam, are different from the shallow, heavy clay soils often found in Carneros. This unique terroir provides high drainage capacity and the vines struggle for water and nutrients; as a result the grapes show immense fruit concentration, and flavor complexity. The vines on the hillside grow in Haire clay loam soils which produce Pinot Noir with sweet, bright flavors and supple tannins. The blocks have the Martini, Dijon 667 and 777 clones planted. Martini is a clone that is slower to ripen, maintains higher acidity and can withstand heat spikes that could occur during a growing season. The fruit makes wines of subtle elegance worthy of aging. The 667 clone produces lower yielding, smaller clusters that are prone to later ripening. This fruit will provide deep color and structure. The Pinot Noir Dijon Clone 777 is the most site dependent and offers fruit that are small clusters, low-yielding and intense color due to the thick skins and higher seed count. The power in the wine can come from this clones fruit.
In the beginning of our growing season, the drought was a main concern. The 2013/2014 winter was one of the driest on record in California and rainfall totals in the Napa Valley were approximately half of normal. However, the timing of the late rains through February and April let our vineyard team relax a little as the vines received a much needed drink of water as they were emerging from dormancy and about to begin bud break. This rainfall recharged our soil and provided enough water to fill the reservoirs. Furthermore, the spring was warm allowing us to save water if needed for irrigation rather than using it for frost protection. As summer began, our vineyards already had full canopies and full clusters. Veraison, when the skins of the grapes change color, typically occurs in late July; but this year we saw the changing color occur much sooner. And finally, while the vines used for high-quality wine production generally dont need much water, a benefit of the drought is that berry sizes are typically smaller and have more concentrated flavors, which our winemaker believes contributes to the overall quality of this years harvest.