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2018 Etude Deer Camp Carneros Pinot Noir

2018 Etude Deer Camp Carneros Pinot Noir

2018 Etude Deer Camp Carneros Pinot Noir



Our Deer Camp Pinot Noir is a vineyard designated wine from the Etude Estate Vineyards at Grace Benoist Ranch. This multi-vineyard ranch is tucked away in the far northwest corner of the Carneros appellation and features well-drained, rocky upland soils.

Awards & Accolades

  • 96

    "Ripe plum and strawberry with some floral, smoke and redwood undertones. Tile, too. Medium-to full-bodied with very fine tannins and a fruity finish. This is poised and focused with a pretty smoky aftertaste to the fruit and some black truffle coming through. Martini clone here.” - James Suckling

  • 93

    Wine Advocate

    “Aged for 12 months in French oak, 25% new, the 2018 Pinot Noir Deer Camp Vineyard has a medium ruby-purple color and leaps from the glass with intense fragrant earth, fallen leaves and tilled soil scents over a core of black raspberries, pomegranate and violets with a waft of baker's chocolate. The medium-bodied palate offers a solid structure of finely grained tannins with bold freshness lifting all those earth-laced red berry layers to a long finish. Interestingly, this wine is made almost entirely from Martini clone—just one of the fascinating heritage clones from around these parts. 565 cases were made.” - Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW

  • 94


    “The 2018 Pinot Noir Grace Benoist Ranch Deer Camp Vineyard emerges from a southwest facing bowl with cobbly soils that is relatively protected from the fog, which yields a wine of real textural presence and depth. Ripe red cherry/plum, spice, menthol, rose petal and iron all inform this potent, structured Pinot. Martini Clone is so distinctive in this wine. Cellar it for a few years.” - Antonio Galloni, March 2021

Wine & Vintage Details

Tasting Notes

Deer Camp offers a distinctive expression of Pinot Noir from Grace Benoist Ranch, with incredible structure and a robust, rustic style. Tons of dark red berries, red cherry and currant jump from the glass, while the fruit is supported on the palate by hints of sweet spice, sarsaparilla and tobacco leaf, alongside fresher more lifted notes of perfumed chaparral, including bay, thyme and violet. A vibrant lively backbone of acidity is present throughout leading to firm tannins and structure that provide incredible balance and complexity, guiding you to a long, satisfying finish.


In the micro-climate of the Carneros, a near perfect season was welcomed in 2018 after several tense vintages, beginning with abundant February rains followed by drying sun and weather that allowed for even flowering and bud break. The slightly later start was followed by consistently ideal weather, with harvest for Pinot Noir occurring in late August and early September. Generally normal to heavier fruit-set with great flavor intensity and complexity will be the hallmark of the season.

Vineyard & Winemaking Details

Carneros AVA



The Deer Camp Vineyard at Grace Benoist Ranch is located on a southwest facing slope of two blocks we refer to as the Pinot Bowl. Featuring distinctive rocky, well-drained soils of Kidd Stony Loam, the site is planted mostly to the Martini clone of Pinot Noir, which produces thick-skinned, pulpy grapes that hold up well to the fog and wind that blow through this cool climate vineyard. This small vineyard was named after an old deer camp structure that stands at the base of this site.


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, and followed with a quiet extended maceration to help modify the richness and mouthfeel of the wine. The wine was lightly pressed into small French oak barrels where it rested for 14 months.

Jon Priest - Winemaker

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.

Winemaker Jon Priest

Alcohol % 14.2%
Enclosure Type Cork
Blend 100% Pinot Noir

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