The Temblor Vineyard Pinot Noir, the second vineyard-designated Pinot Noir from the Etude Estate Vineyards at Grace Benoist Ranch. These vineyards are tucked away in the far northwest corner of the Carneros appellation and feature well-drained, rocky upland soils. The site includes six different soil types and a wide variety of topographical features, and the vineyard parcels were customized to conform to the various soil types and the changing contours of the topography. The diverse sites on this beautiful property allow us to highlight certain portions of the vineyard by illustrating the variations of wine character attributable to different soil series and microclimates.
A rich ruby hue sets the stage for a medium to full bodied wine with vibrant acidity, evident tannins and ripe dark fruits such as blueberry, plum and black cherry, alongside flavors of raspberry and cranberry with notes of licorice and cassis. On the nose, some earthy, savory character is present, ending with a mineral note. A full-throated expression of Grace Benoist Ranch.
Overall, 2017 proved to be a slightly smaller yielding vintage but one of exceptional quality. A brief period of warm weather occurred during Labor Day weekend which accelerated the harvest in some areas. Temperatures subsided just when we needed and the fruit was allowed to mature and ripen perfectly on the vines before harvest officially began. Overall, a quick and intense harvest, with althea fruit picked within two to three weeks, but the quality of the vintage shows great flavor intensity, perfect ripening and maturity, lovely balance and complexity.
The Temblor Vineyard is located on a gradual slope that faces east within Grace Benoist Ranch Estate. The soils here are very well-drained, with tightly packed volcanic boulders and cobbles braided throughout, a result of the Rodgers Creek Fault line which is adjacent to the vineyard. Temblor is directly influenced by the cooling Petaluma Gap and San Pablo Bay, causing the fog to develop early and recede late in the day. The gradual slopes and moderate microclimate allow for even vine growth and fruit ripening.
The grapes for this wine were harvested at night to preserve freshness and integrity. They were placed in open-top fermenters for 3-5 days of cold maceration followed by fermentation. A small percentage of the grapes were left as whole cluster to preserve the buoyancy of aromatics of the fruit and to add structure and refinement to the wine. Punch downs were performed during the early stages of fermentation with the extraction becoming gentler as the wine became dry. A quiet extended maceration followed, helping to enhance the richness and mouthfeel of the wine. The wine was lightly pressed into French oak barrels (25% new) where it rested for 14 months. The wine was bottled with no fining or filtration and allowed to rest for another eight months prior to release.
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.
|Oak Treatment||Aged 14 months in French oak barrels (25% new)|
|Blend||100% Pinot Noir|