2018 Pinot Noir
Dijon Blocks, Estate Vineyard
Los Carneros, Napa Valley
Club Price $64.00
This wine offers elegant aromas of cherry and boysenberry, with a hint of tobacco. It displays a silky, yet intense mid palate, with polished flavors of brambleberry, blueberry and fig, tied in by the bright acidity. The oak fermentation enhances the wine's textural aspect, and satin-like tannins. This is a powerful Pinot Noir, yet well balanced, and true to its Los Carneros roots.
350 cases producedDownload Tech Sheet
Varietal Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Technical Data: ALC: 14.1% by vol.; TA: 6.5 g/L; pH: 3.5
Cooperage: 12 Months in 100% Frech Oak Barrels (40% New)
The grapes for this wine were hand harvested at night, throughout the month of September, as each block achieved ripeness and flavor development. About 30% of the overall grapes were fermented "whole cluster"; meaning that in some lots, about 30% of the grapes were put into the fermenters with the rachis. This technique imparts more structure to the mid palate. The remaining lots were de-stemmed, but not crushed, leaving whole berries.
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 27 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 20 days. The wine was aged on lees, in 40% 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 2018, with a richness and intensity 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 perfect growing season on our Estate, the 2018 vintage is characterized by moderate temperatures throughout the spring and summer that allowed for the ideal growing conditions; consistent and steady. We began harvest on August 21 followed by unseasonably cool weather that allowed for most of the fruit on our Estate to remain on the vine for an additional week or two. This extended hangtime was great for the maturation of flavors and overall quality of the fruit.
Harvest again kicked into full swing in early September and was completed on October 20, about two weeks later than last year. The combination of a perfect growing season and a long harvest allowed for the fruit to demonstrate clean, mature flavors with wonderful balance and acidity. The 2018 wines will show elegantly yet with concentrated flavors that possess so much finesse for years to come.