Los Carneros 2012
2012 proved to be a perfect growing season in Napa Valley. Near-ideal spring bud break, steady flowering, even fruit set and a lengthy stretch of warm days and cool nights provided textbook conditions for the vines. Optimum ripeness was easily achieved, bringing exceptional quality into the cellar. The wines are showing a smooth balance of acids and sugars, great depth of color, and beautiful aromatics. Yields were near-normal in quantity.
The Pinot Noir grapes for this wine were grown in the Carneros region, where soils are dense, shallow, of low to moderate fertility, and high in clay content. While the soils lead to low yields, the regionís maritime climate allows a longer growing season; the end result is balanced color, flavor and acidity in the harvested grapes. This Pinot Noir is produced from three vineyards: the Diamond Vineyard in central Carneros, the Champlin Creek Vineyard in western Carneros, and the Truchard Vineyard in northeastern Carneros. All vineyards are under long-term contracts, providing consistency from vintage to vintage.
The grapes for this Pinot Noir were hand picked. After destemming, the grapes were whole-berry fermented in open-top fermenters, which were punched down manually to provide maximum flavor and minimum harsh tannins. Following fermentation, the wine was transferred to small French oak barrels for thirteen months. The barrels were 35% new and 65% used (2nd and 3rd year.) Prior to bottling, the wine received minimal filtration and fining to preserve the fresh berry flavors.
Dark plums, cherry, cola and leather are present in this wine's aroma. The soft vanilla tones from the oak blend perfectly with the intense fruit core and soft tannins, providing complexity and balance and leading to a lingering finish.
Ratings & Reviews
"From grapes sourced from two vineyards in Carneros, the wine displays pretty strawberry aromas with spicy hints from the oak. Quite polished and elegant, this has some silky tannins, leading to delicate strawberry and dark cherry characters on the finish. Drink 2014-2016."
- Decanter, November 2014 Download PDF
"Nearing four years of age, this Pinot is delicious to drink now. It's mellow and silky, with just enough acidity to give the raspberry and red currant flavors zest. This is Waterstoneís most complete Pinot Noir in many years."
- Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide, July 2013 Download PDF
4 Stars, Exceptional
"Brilliant raspberry color. The nose is wonderfully fresh and complex with scents of cherry and plum with accents of earth, clove, allspice, and oak with hints of campfire embers. The palate echoes the nose delivering beautiful contrasting flavors of sweet and tart cherries with hints of tar, oak, vanilla bean, and brown baking spices. Ideally balanced with true Pinot character. Offered at a sensible price as well."
- Bev X, August 2011 Download PDF
"Distinctive; the nose delivers spice, smoke, interest, and intriguing cherry bomb fruit with vanilla and fast oak streaks. From first taste the palate lets you know itís going to be tough to put down. All the aromatic qualities carry through to the palate in technicolor. A rocking price from a grooving Carneros Pinot. Bargain!"
- Winethropology, August 2011 Download PDF
"Transparent red in color, this Pinot has aromas of red raspberries, cherries and vanilla, with a touch of earthiness. Itís medium bodied, with red cherry and berry flavors and subtle tannins."
- Tina Caputo, Wine Review Online, July 2011 Download PDF
Chairman's Award, Unanimous Gold
2009 Riverside International Wine Competition
• Varietal Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
• Appellation: Carneros
• Alcohol: 14.5%
• TA: 0.57 g/100ml
• pH: 3.80
• Oak Aging: 13 months
• Oak Cooperage: French oak, 35% new
• Bottling Date: December 13, 2013
• Production: 1360 cases