This youthful Pinot Noir is vibrant in color and is a pure expression of the varietal. The aroma is filled with ripe cherries and vanilla; not unlike pie filling inside a buttery, baked crust. Darker hints of blueberry, tar and bramble restrain the wine. On the palate, this Pinot is beautifully integrated with a fruit and spice combo. The soft texture is supported by rounded tannins that add body and persistence. The wine finishes with fresh blueberry juice and a touch of green tea.
The maritime environment of the Carneros grape-growing region delivers cool, foggy mornings followed by warm days that slowly nurture ripening. This seaside influence is particularly acute at our Poseidon Vineyard; one can see the masts of boats bobbing in the water just a few steps to the south. The prominent feature of our vineyard is the gravelly, geological “Bench”—the elevated, rocky, former riverbank of the Carneros Creek—that runs serpentine through the center of the site. From this unique geological feature spring some of our most distinct, small-production wines.
2013 was a “surprisingly mild” vintage. We enjoyed moderate conditions throughout the growing season, with few heat spikes and no rain. Even so, the fruit on the higher ground was ready to pick the first week of September, just after Labor Day. We allowed the lower part of the vineyard an extra week of hang time to reach the peak of ripeness. The warm and dry conditions of the summer set us up for a stress-free harvest as we picked under the cool fog of Carneros.
Our Pinot Noir winemaking took on a fastidious nature in 2013. Not only were the three sections of this two-acre hill picked separately, but so were the different clones. Each pick was fermented separately, and we were super excited to see how the different clones would taste. After several months in barrel, it was evident which of the clones we favored: clones 667 and 777. Clone 667 was highly aromatic and dense on the palate. Clone 777 was bright, lively and elegant. It seemed natural to keep a few barrels of these clonal wines for our special “Bench” blend of Pinot Noir. These wines were racked only once before bottling to maintain the pure fruit expression.
Alex Beloz, Winemaker
Michael Terrien, Founding Winemaker