The Etude Carneros Pinot Noir is a true reflection of the winery’s estate vineyard, Grace Benoist Ranch. A blend of the best grapes from individual vineyard parcels on the Ranch, this wine tells the story of a particular vintage from a very unique place.
A vibrant red ruby color, this 2016 Carneros Pinot Noir shows lifted red berry fruit flavors and aromas of fresh strawberry, Bing cherry, and raspberry, along with the signature cinnamon graham cracker spice found in our Grace Benoist Ranch Pinots Noirs. Appealing and bright, concentrated red fruit comes through on the palate, alongside delicate mineral earth and spice notes, followed by a lush mouthfeel and silky tannins. Youthful and fresh but with the potential to age for up to 10 years.
The 2016 vintage was challenging, with the impact of our continuing drought requiring a deft touch in the vineyard, although there was some winter rain that helped recharge much needed groundwater. Bud break was early in February, and the march toward harvest continued through the season, with fruit arriving about two weeks earlier than normal. Shatter resulted in some blocks with lower yields, but the warm, mild growing days led to fruit with abundant flavor, good acidity and balance.
The Etude Carneros Pinot Noir hails from our estate vineyard tucked away in the far Northwest corner of the Carneros appellation. Unlike customary Carneros acreage, which is largely uplifted bay bottoms with soils composed of clay, the soils on Grace Benoist Ranch are variations of volcanic origin. Combining these well-drained, rocky upland soils with the extreme western location closer to the Pacific Ocean make this site an ideal place to grow Burgundian varieties. The vineyard parcels on Grace Benoist Ranch are customized to conform to the various soil types and the changing contours of the topography. Individual vineyards average only 8 acres in size and the spacing is dense to ensure low per vine yields of fully concentrated fruit. As stewards of the property, Etude remains steadfast in our commitment to adhere to sustainable agricultural practices that enable us to farm in concert with the surrounding environment.
The Carneros Estate Pinot Noir underwent cold maceration in small lot open-top fermenters with extended time on the skins and less whole cluster inclusion than in previous vintages. This was followed by 12 months of ageing in the finest French oak barrels of which 25% were new. This deliberate lesser percentage of new oak enhances the wine's dimension and structure and still allows the beautiful fruit flavors to take center stage. Coming from vineyard parcels that are vinified and aged individually, the final blend is subject to a rigorous selection process, whereby only the best casks are chosen for the final blend. The goal is to produce a Pinot Noir that is of the highest quality and reflects the unique terroir of Etude's estate vineyards.
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||12 months French oak barrels (25% new)|
|Blend||100% Pinot Noir|