They carefully match climates and soil types for each grape varietal and then craft each vineyard lot throughout the entire winemaking process. This year the grapes come from Monterey, Santa Barbara and Mendocino counties. These regions produce small, densely flavored grapes which become well-structured wines. The wine is aged for 12 months in 98% French (12% new) oak barrels for hints of toast, vanilla and cedar aromas. The lots are kept separate until the final blend so that their winemakers have the ability to craft a wine that exhibits the perfect blend of flavors and aromas from each region.
The grapes are grown on benchland rolling hillsides and mountain top vineyards that develop small, densely flavored grapes which become well-structured wines. Monterey County (68%) grapes develop the floral nuances and structure along with flavors of ripe strawberry, raspberry and black berry. Santa Barbara County (29%) infuses the wine with dark cherry lushness. Mendocino County (3%) adds dark fruit tones as well as excellent tannins to the structure and mouthfeel.
WINE SPECTATOR 91 POINTS - "Deftly balanced, this is slow to build nuance and complexity, unfolding to reveal tiers of spicy raspberry, black cherry and wilted rose. Though medium-weight, the flavors build intensity and nuance. Drink now through 2020."
Country: United StatesAmerican wine has been produced for over 300 years. Today, wine production is undertaken in all fifty states, with California producing 89 percent of all US wine. The United States is the fourth-largest wine producing country in the world after France, Italy, and Spain. With more than 1,100,000 acres (4,500 km2) under vine, the United States is the sixth-most planted country in the world after France, Italy, Spain, China and Turkey.
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is a red wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. Pinot Noir grapes are grown around the world, mostly in the cooler regions, but the grape is chiefly associated with the Burgundy region of France. Other regions that have gained a reputation for Pinot Noir include the Willamette Valley of Oregon, the Carneros, Central Coast and Russian River AVAs of California, the Walker Bay wine region of South Africa, Tasmania and Yarra Valley in Australia and the Central Otago, Martinborough and Marlborough wine regions of New Zealand. Pinot Noir is also a primary variety used in sparkling wine production in Champagne and other wine regions. It is widely considered to produce some of the finest wines in the world, but is a difficult variety to cultivate and transform into wine. The grape's tendency to produce tightly packed clusters makes it susceptible to several viticultural hazards involving rot that require diligent canopy management. The thin-skins and low levels of phenolic compounds lends Pinot to producing mostly lightly colored, medium bodied low tannin wines that can often go through dumb phases with uneven and unpredictable aging. When young, wines made from Pinot Noir tend to have red fruit aromas of cherries, raspberries and strawberries. As the wines age, Pinots have the potential to develop vegetal and "barnyard" aromas that can contribute to the complexity of the wine.