2014 Pinot Not
Limited Release
Los Carneros, Napa Valley
$70.00  |  Club Price $56.00
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Winery Only

This vintage draws on two distinct vineyard sources which complement each other superbly: Artesas Estate Vineyard (Carneros, Napa Valley) and the Sangiacomo Vineyard (Carneros, Sonoma). A wine from these two distinct sources is very unique and rare. The combination of the two vineyards creates a bright and intricate wine that is hard to find. This pinot noir offers notes and flavors of strawberry and cherry with a hint of vanilla resulting in great depth and complexity. Fermenting a small portion of the wine in the French puncheons added a bit of creaminess and helped to develop layers to craft a complex, integrated wine. The oak is beautifully integrated and the wine offers and long, elegant finish.
Varietal Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Technical Data: ALC: 14.6% by vol.; TA: 6.0 G/L; pH: 3.61
Cooperage: 11 Months in 100% French Oak Barrels (30% New)

During the month of September, the fruit was hand harvested as each block achieved perfect ripeness; the grapes were de-stemmed and given a five-day cold soak. This traditional method gently extracts color and flavor from the delicate skinned Pinot Noir before beginning primary fermentation. Each component was fermented separately to allow the wine to express the fruit from different blocks. Most lots fermented in open-top stainless steel tanks and a smaller portion in puncheons (French oak casks a little over twice the size of a regular barrel). When the wine finished primary fermentation, it was pressed off the skins, and then placed in a combination of new and seasoned French oak barrels for 11 months of aging. After the final blend was assembled, the wine went back to barrel for 2 months, to add another layer of complexity.
The majority of the fruit sourced to make this years vintage is from the higher elevation blocks from our Estate Vineyard. Here the lightly textured silt loam soils naturally regulate vine vigor and as a result Pinot Noir from these blocks displays immense concentration and fruit intensity. The remaining portion of the blend was sourced from the highly regarded Sangiacomo Vineyard in Sonoma Carneros, where clay/loam soils mixed with rocks and shale produce Pinot Noirs of finesse and elegance. Situated on a hillside slope in the southwest corner of Sonoma Carneros, the site is exposed to the cool, foggy temperatures off the bay. The 10 year old 777 clone vines on this site produce an elegant, feminine pinot noir with a spicy perfume, bright red berry flavors and a silky texture that is distinctively Sonoma Carneros in style. Our Limited Release Pinot Noir is a blend of fruit from our Napa Estate and the Sangiacomo Vineyard, combining the best of each site to create a uniquely complex wine.
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.

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