Block 91D, Estate Vineyard (1.5L)
Los Carneros, Napa Valley
$160.00  |  Club Price $128.00
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Our most prestigious pinot noir, this wine offers intense aromas of dark cherry and strawberry and is complemented with flavors of raspberry, cranberry and macerated strawberries. Hints of clove and white pepper are integrated through barrel aging in French Oak for twelve months. This exquisite wine is a perfect homage to the best pinot noir in the Los Carneros AVA.

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Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Technical Data: ALC: 14.5% by vol.; TA: 5.5 G/L; pH: 3.67
Cooperage: 12 Monthins in French Oak Barrels (50% New)

The grapes for this wine were hand harvested at night and brought to the winery very early in the morning, where they were quickly de-stemmed, but not crushed. This block was harvested on 3 different days, due to differences in ripening. By approaching the fruit this way, our winemaker,Ana Diogo-Draper, wanted to achieve distinct layers of fruit and complexity. The grapes were placed in two different vessels - open top fermenters (30%) and 500 liter French oak puncheons (70%) - where they were cold soaked for five days, and then fermented, with native yeast. That means that no commercial yeast was added to any of the lots. Fermentation, in the puncheons, lasted 21 days and the slow extraction of oak enhanced the body of the finished wine and added depth. In the open top fermenters, grapes fermented for 14 days. The wine was aged on lees, in 50% new French oak barrels, for 12 months, and was never racked until blended.
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 one of the highest elevations in Carneros vineyards, at 420 feet of elevation. The soils(Bressa-Dibble) are light textured silt loam and different from the common Carneros soils, of mostly 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.
This vintage will be remembered for high quality, but low yields. The 2015 growing season started out with unseasonably warm temperatures in the late winter and early spring. This resulted in an early bud break and bloom. Colder temperatures in May (during the peak of bloom) caused uneven fruit set which ultimately resulted in a much smaller crop in 2015, compared to the three abundant years that preceded it. As a result, our winemaker workedhand-in-hand with our vineyard crews and also employed new technologies, like optical sorting, to ensure we picked and crushed only the best quality grapes. The harvest was one of the earliest on record in Napa Valley, beginning on July 31st with the picking of grapes for our sparkling wine program, and concluding for us October 22nd. While ongoing drought was of great concern, we were fortunate to have received enough rain in the winter to fill our reservoirs.

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