2014 PINOT NOIR
Block 91D, Estate Vineyard (1.5L)
Los Carneros, Napa Valley
Club Price $157.50
This wine offers intense aromas of dark cherry and strawberry and on the palate there are flavors of raspberry and macerated strawberries with a hint of dark chocolate. The mouthfeel has exceptional silkiness and is a result of the unique barrel fermentation. Mature, smooth tannins create a soft, velvety texture while sweet oak notes add breadth and dimension. This exquisite wine is a perfect homage to the best Pinot Noir produced in the Carneros, Napa Valley AVA.
The grapes for this wine were hand harvested at night and brought to the winery very early in the morning in small bins where they were quickly de-stemmed, but not crushed. Grapes were harvested in this block on 3
different days, due to differences in ripening. By doing this, our winemaker, Ana Diogo-Draper, wanted to achieve distinct layers of fruit and complexity. The wine was cold soaked for five days, and then fermented in two different vessels - open top fermenters and 500 liter French oak puncheons. Fermentation lasted fifteen days and the slow extraction of oak enhanced the body of the finished wine and added depth. About 30% of the final blend was a result of a wild fermentation. The wine was aged in 100% new French oak barrels for 12 months, and was racked just once prior to blending and bottling.
Varietal Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Technical Data: ALC: 14.6% by vol.; TA: 5.5 G/L; pH: 3.61
Cooperage: Aged 12 Months in 100% New French Oak Barrels
Artesas 91D block Pinot Noir was originally planted in 1991 and hangs on a south facing hillside overlooking the winery. This site is very unique in Carneros for two reasons: elevation & soil type. Block 91D sits on the highest elevation, 420 feet, among other Carneros vineyards. The soils (Bressa-Dibble) are light textured silt loam and different from the common Carneros soils that are known as shallow, heavy clay. This unique terroir provides high drainage capacity and regulates vine vigor. The combination of the terroir, Martini clone, and meticulous farming result in this Pinot Noir that has power and grace at the same time.
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.