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2019 Etude Heirloom Grace Benoist Ranch Carneros Pinot Noir

2019 Etude Heirloom Grace Benoist Ranch Carneros Pinot Noir

2019 Etude Heirloom Grace Benoist Ranch Carneros Pinot Noir

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Tasting Notes

A truly exemplary Pinot Noir, the 2019 Heirloom represents the epitome of our beloved estate vineyard, with incredible structure, complexity, and balance. Fresh, expressive, and nuanced, with layers of perfumed red berries and sweet baking spice notes of cinnamon and clove, coming forward from the delicate oak integration. The wine unfolds with rhubarb, Bing cherry and red currant compote, alongside hints of delicate orange pekoe tea, vanilla, and pink peppercorn. A vibrant acidity carries the red berry fruit and interweaves seamlessly with the fine-grained tannins, providing a generous, rich, silky, supple character. A true buoyancy is present, with a generous mouth-coating structure, sinewy texture, and a long persistent finish. When cellared properly, this Pinot is certain to age elegantly for the next 5-10 years.

Technical Information

Varietal Pinot Noir
Vintage 2019
Appellation Carneros
Blend 100% Pinot Noir
Alcohol % 14.3%
Enclosure Type Cork

Scores & Accolades

  • 95 - "The is soft-textured, yet fresh and vivid, with brightness and personality. It shows plenty of strawberry aromas and flavors with some stone, too. It’s full and layered with a soft and creamy texture. Lovely finish. Drink or hold." - James Suckling, November 2021
  • 94+
    Wine Advocate - “This large property has nine parcels of different Pinot Noir selections, many of which are blended into the 2019 Pinot Noir Grace Benoist Ranch Heirloom. Delicate herbal notes accent black cherries and red raspberries on the nose, along with a subtle stemmy quality (25% was fermented as whole bunches). Richly concentrated, this medium to full-bodied effort finishes long, silky and firm.” - Joe Czerwinski, June 2022
  • 93
    Wine Spectator- “This mixes in a lovely range of red and black cherry notes with flashes of mulling spice, licorice root, rose petal and red tea. Very refined in feel through the long, pure finish. Drink now through 2028.” - James Molesworth, May 11, 2022


The grapes for this wine were handpicked at night to preserve freshness and acidity. They were placed in open-top fermenters for 3-5 days of cold maceration followed by fermentation. Some 20 percent of the fruit was kept whole cluster during fermentation to add further complexity, buoyancy of aromatics and an element of structure and refinement. We performed punch downs 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 enhance the richness and mouthfeel of the wine. We lightly pressed the wine into small French oak barrels where it rested for 14 months. The wine was bottled with no fining or filtration.


The 2019 harvest started one to two weeks later than previous years, mostly due to February rains, but because the vines were in their winter dormancy, it did not affect the 2019 crop. Spring continued to be wet with some rain during flowering, followed by cool temperatures that allowed the grapes to mature gradually. Most grapes ripened at lower sugars, thanks to the extended, cool growing season, and winemakers were pleased with the full flavors, fresh acidity, and superb balance of the 2019 fruit. Wildfires in October, north of Carneros, did not impact the harvest. The resulting crop showed a modest yield with a slightly more compact structure and extract than in previous years.


Etude’s Heirloom Pinot Noir, produced from several heirloom selections of the variety, is dedicated to the celebration and preservation of plant diversity. It exemplifies the singular, superior wines – unusually expressive, concentrated and pure – that issue from original varieties or vine selections chosen for the inherent wine quality they produce.

Grown on the Etude Estate Vineyards at Grace Benoist Ranch, the grapes for our Heirloom Pinot Noir come from shy-bearing selections that produce small bunches and even smaller berries. Although some may overlook these vines due to their extremely low yields, we prize their ability to produce wines that are both expressive of their genetic origins as well as providing a unique flavor profile, which exemplifies the varied site and diversity of soils on which they’re grown.

Winemaker Jon Priest