The 2015 Carneros Estate Pinot Noir exhibits intriguing and complex aromas and flavors of dark cherry, pomegranate, raspberry, plum, black tea and the signature cinnamon graham cracker spice often found in our Grace Benoist Ranch Pinot Noirs. Bright yet concentrated red fruit comes through on the palate, followed by a lush mouthfeel and silky tannins. Elegant, rich but light-hearted, with juicy acidity, balance and a memorable finish.
|Blend||100% Pinot Noir|
|Oak Treatment||12 months French oak barrels (25% new)|
"Pale to medium ruby-purple colored, the 2015 Yamhela Vineyard has a bright, vibrant red cherry and cranberry-scented nose with underlying rose hip tea, cinnamon stick and dusty earth hints. Medium-bodied, it has a firm, fine grained backbone and great freshness supporting the exuberant berry flavors, finishing with a lovely perfumed lift." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, August 2017
"Moving to the reds, the 2015 Pinot Noir Grace Benoist Ranch is a deeply colored effort that has medium-bodied notes of red currants, cherries, campfire and forest floor. It has plenty of texture and a charming, rounded, delicious style ideal for drinking over the coming 4-5 years." - Jeb Dunnuck
The Carneros Estate Pinot Noir undergoes cold maceration and small lot open-top fermentation with extended time on the skins, and is then aged for 12 months in the finest French oak barrels (25% new). This deliberate lesser percentage of new oak enhances the wine's dimension and structure and still allows the beautiful fruit flavors to take center stage. The wines are subject to a rigorous selection process whereby only the best casks are chosen for the final blend. The goal is to produce a Pinot Noir that is of the highest quality and reflects the unique terroir of Etude's estate vineyards.
For more than a decade Jon has fashioned Etude wines with a simple creed. Inspired winegrowing diminishes the need for a winemaker to intervene in the cellar. Whether sourcing from the estate Grace Benoist Ranch in Sonoma's Los Carneros, or vineyards like Fiddlestix and North Canyon in famed growing regions of California's Central Coast, his focus is on coaxing the very best from the vineyard. It shows in every glass of Etude.
After three years of plentiful harvests, the 2015 vintage brought low, but outstanding yields. A mild spring and summer with almost no rain allowed the fruit to ripen at a very steady and deliberate pace, and picking began a few days earlier than 2014. The drier-than-normal conditions and abundant sunshine contributed to the smaller berry size and low yields, resulting in wines with excellent concentration, color and flavor.
The Etude Carneros Pinot Noir hails from our estate vineyard tucked away in the far Northwest corner of the Carneros appellation. Unlike customary Carneros acreage, which is largely uplifted bay bottoms with soils composed of clay, the soils on Grace Benoist Ranch are variations of volcanic origin. Combining these well-drained, rocky upland soils with the extreme western location closer to the Pacific Ocean make this site an ideal place to grow Burgundian varieties. The vineyard parcels on Grace Benoist Ranch are customized to conform to the various soil types and the changing contours of the topography. Individual vineyards average only 8 acres in size and the spacing is dense to ensure low per vine yields of fully concentrated fruit. As stewards of the property, Etude remains steadfast in our commitment to adhere to sustainable agricultural practices that enable us to farm in concert with the surrounding environment.
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