Opening with red fruit and black tea, the 2017 has exceptional red fruit notes that exude from the glass. Red cherry, strawberry and cranberry deliver on the palate and round out the bright acidity which is common in Carneros Pinot Noir. Barrel aging gives some light oxidized notes and vanilla flavor. Drink now or for the next 4 years.
Predominately sourced from Beringer’s Stanley Ranch vineyard located in Napa Valley’s “Los Carneros” growing region which borders San Pablo Bay at the southern end of Napa Valley. Grapes were planted in Carneros during the 1850’s but phylloxera and Prohibition slowed production in the early 1900’s. Recognized as a separate American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 1983 because of its shallow, well-drained soils and marine-influenced climate, Carneros is considered Napa Valley’s best growing area for Pinot Noir. Late afternoon marine fog creeps up from the Bay, so nights and mornings are cool and the grapes’ natural acids are preserved, balancing ripe fruit flavors that develop during sunny, warm days.
The 2017 highlights another great vintage throughout California, on par with the previous wonderful 2016 vintage. Warm spring temperatures and even weather throughout the growing season led to an earlier than normal harvest for most of Carneros. California’s continued drought led to lower yields in the vineyards but produced fruit of exceptional quality and fruit flavors.
The grapes were gently destemmed and put in open-top fermenters after harvest. A combination of cap punch-downs and juice pumpovers were used to retain the fruit’s delicate layers of flavor and spice. The wine was aged in French oak, giving the final blend additional depth and richness.