“The 2011 Napa Carneros Pinot Noir is a full bodied offering, with deep color, great structure and a strong vanilla influence from French oak barrel aging. The subtle and elegant fruit and flower aromas, so prevalent in wines from the Carneros region, add an element of style, making this a wine that drinks well upon release, but which also has the backbone to age like classic Burgundies.”
The Carneros region of Napa lies at the southern end of the valley, within a few short miles of the San Francisco Bay. Cool marine breezes blanket gentle rolling hills, leading to soft fruity wines with balanced acid levels and mellow body and structure that are often compared to the classic Burgundy wines of France.
Our 2011 blend draws from three of the older vineyards in this region, which have developed some of the most intense character that I have seen in Pinot Noir over the years. Small berries and low-yielding vines make for a wine that has much of the structure and richness so often found in Napa’s famous Cabernets, but the undeniable Pinot character still asserts itself, making this one of the bolder versions of a typically light and subtle varietal.
We fermented this wine in small open-topped oak vats, which allowed us to “punch down”, or mix the grapes and wine as it developed its color and body until it had the intensity we desired. So much so, that I gave it an extra 6 months of barrel age to balance richness with elegance.
- Monty Paulsen, Winemaker
Appellation: Napa Carneros
Vineyard: 3 distinct “old vine” vineyards on gentle hillsides.
Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Profile: full-bodied, rich, velvety
Release: June 15, 2014
Production: 104 cases
Oak Vat fermentation,
French oak barrels, 28 months
Food Pairing: lamb, pork, pasta or other mildly spicy dishes.
Aging potential: 10 to 15 years.