2017 Pinot Noir
Dijon Blocks, Estate Vineyard
Los Carneros, Napa Valley
Club Price $64.00
92 points - Wine Spectator, October 2020; 91 pts - Jeb Dunnuck
This wine offers intense aromas of dark cherry and boysenberry, with a hint of tobacco and allspice. It displays a silky, yet intense mid palate, with polished flavors of brambleberry, blueberry and plum, tied in by the bright acidity. The oak fermentation enhances the wines textural aspect, and satin-like tannins. This is a powerful Pinot Noir, yet well balanced and true to its Los Carneros roots.
392 cases producedDownload Tech Sheet
Varietal Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Technical Data: ALC: 14.1% by vol.; TA: 6.6 G/L; pH: 3.70
Cooperage: 12 Months in 100% Frech 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. The grapes were placed in two different vessels - open top fermenters (70%) and 500 liter French oak puncheons (30%) - where they were cold soaked for three 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 on average 23 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.
In 2014, Artesa replanted two steep south-facing hillsides of the estate for the first time since the winery was founded. The soils (Bressa-Dibble) are light textured silt loam and different from the common Carneros soils, of mostly shallow, heavy clay. We knew these rocky slopes had the potential to make some of the most intense, world-class pinot on the property, so we chose to plant each hillside with two distinct Dijon clones; 667 & 777. These four small blocks (17A & B, 29A&B) resulted in the most exceptional lots of pinot noir in the cellar in 2017, bursting with a richeness and instensity that insisted we create a single bottling to show off their unique personality. Both Dijon clones are very site driven, and in a cooler site such as our Estate Vineyard, they display intense aromatics, and powerful mid palate, with notes of dark red fruit, layered with spices like clove and allspice.
The 2017 vintage saw generous winter rains that refreshed ground water supplies and led to a cool, mild spring which prepared the vineyards for the summertime heat. Harvest began for Artesa on August 11 and moved quickly. A long, even summer ripening season ended with high temperatures in excess of 100 degrees for five days in early August. As a result harvest was completed for us by late September, weeks ahead of usual, and before the devastating fires that broke out on October 8. The 2017 wines show ripe, concentrated flavors and excellent balance.