Los Carneros 2011
The 2011 growing season proved to be a challenge in Napa Valley. A wet winter and spring extended with rainfall into mid-June, delaying bloom and set. A long, cool growing season followed, which forced growers to open canopies to ensure sunlight and warmth. Harvest was further hampered by autumn rain storms, which encouraged an earlier-than-normal harvest. Overall, quality of fruit is high, and lower alcohols are expected
for the vintage.
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 region’s 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 two vineyards: the Diamond Vineyard in central Carneros and the Truchard Vineyard in northeastern Carneros. Both 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 sixteen 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
"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: 13.7%
• TA: 0.56 g/100ml
• pH: 3.78
• Oak Aging: 16 months
• Oak Cooperage: French oak, 35% new
• Bottling Date: March 16, 2013
• Production: 868 cases