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.
“Tar and dark strawberry with wrought iron and chewy tannins. Quite linear. White pepper. Full-bodied with a compact mouthfeel. Fine-grained texture. Racy and structured..” - James Suckling
An alluring, cooler-climate Pinot Noir showing beautifully perfumed dark berry fruit and a lovely lifted floral note with minerality and earthy undertones. Pleasing layers of black cherry compote, blackberry preserves, and rich, dark plum puree are interwoven with subtle notes of caramel, leather, and tobacco leaf. The floral note comes through from the wild chaparral character, showing hints of aromatic lavender and violet. On the palate, crushed stone and earth sit alongside savory tea leaf and black pepper spice, finishing with touches of wet stone and gravel. A robust, rich, and round expression of Grace Benoist Ranch with a plush, concentrated mouthfeel, leading to a polished, lithe texture and persistent finish.
Despite some memorably atypical factors, the 2020 season was another successful vintage. It was a warm, dry winter and the rain and cooler weather didn’t arrive until the end of March. While the mild spring provided a great early start, the winery followed extensive safety protocols due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Summer brought very cool mornings and very warm days. Harvest was interrupted by wildfires across California, which came just as grapes started to be picked. We were very fortunate that none of our vineyards were in the active fire areas. The red wine harvest started in late August and the wines showed excellent development in cellars, reflecting the fine vintage year.
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.
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