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2020 Etude Carneros Heirloom Pinot Noir

2020 Etude Carneros Heirloom Pinot Noir


2020 Etude Carneros Heirloom Pinot Noir

Price $95.00
Case (12)
Price $1,140.00

Tasting Notes

A remarkable Pinot Noir, the 2020 Heirloom represents the epitome of our beloved estate vineyard, with a luxurious structure, complexity, and balance. Subtle and nuanced, this wine unfolds with layers of perfumed red berries and sweet baking spice. Delicate hints of cinnamon, clove, and cedar, dance from the glass, a nod to the well-integrated oak. The flavors unfurl with juicy red cherry and pomegranate, alongside hints of orange pekoe tea, hibiscus flower, and pink peppercorn. A lively, supporting backbone of acidity weaves seamlessly with the sinewy tannins, providing a generosity and plushness to the silky, supple texture. Buoyant and alive, the finish goes on for days, and becomes more mercurial with each sip, inviting you back again and again. Cellared properly, it’s certain to age gracefully over the next five to ten years.

Technical Information

Varietal Pinot Noir
Vintage 2020
Appellation Carneros
Alcohol % 14.4%

Scores & Accolades

  • 97
    James Suckling - “A powerful and structured pinot with hibiscus and sliced ripe raspberries, as well as dried flowers, rose petals and stems. Coffee. It’s full, yet hemmed in with tannins that frame the wine nicely before melting into the wine. Better in two or three years, but very impressive and refined.” - James Suckling, February 2023


The grapes were handpicked at night to preserve freshness and acidity. They were placed in open-top fermenters for three to five days of cold maceration followed by fermentation. About 20 percent of the fruit was kept whole cluster to preserve buoyant fruit aromatics and to add structure and refinement. Punch downs were performed during the early stages of fermentation with extraction becoming gentler as the wine became dry. An extended maceration followed to increase richness and mouthfeel. The wine was lightly pressed into French oak barrels (25% new) where it rested for 14 months, bottled with no fining or filtration.


The 2020 season is considered another successful vintage, despite being remembered for factors beyond the typical harvest season. It was a warm, dry winter and the rain and cooler weather didn’t arrive until the end of March. While the mild spring season was a great early start, our winery working conditions had extensive safety protocols due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Summer brought very cool mornings and very warm days, but then harvest was interrupted by wildfires across California, which came as grapes started to be picked, and we were very fortunate that none of our vineyards were in the areas of the active fires. The red wine harvest started in late August, with the wines showing excellent development in cellars, reflecting the fine vintage year.


Etude’s Heirloom Pinot Noir, produced from several heirloom selections of the variety, is dedicated to the celebration and preservation of plant diversity. It exemplifies the singular, superior wines – unusually expressive, concentrated and pure – that issue from original varieties or vine selections chosen for the inherent wine quality they produce.

Grown on the Etude Estate Vineyards at Grace Benoist Ranch, the grapes for our Heirloom Pinot Noir come from shy-bearing selections that produce small bunches and even smaller berries. Although some may overlook these vines due to their extremely low yields, we prize their ability to produce wines that are both expressive of their genetic origins as well as providing a unique flavor profile, which exemplifies the varied site and diversity of soils on which they’re grown.

Winemaker Jon Priest