Edification Case Club

Etude Wine 2010

2013 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

3 bottles

The Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon was the third appellation wine to be introduced in our Cabernet series of very small bottlings dedicated to the benchland sub-appellations of Napa Valley. This bottling marks the sixth vintage of the Oakville Cabernet. Grapes were sourced exclusively from Block 6 of the Vine Hill Ranch, nestled along the hills of the Mayacamas Mountain Range at the south end of the Oakville AVA. The Phillips family has carefully managed this alluvial benchland vineyard for two generations, which is home to some of the most expressive and concentrated Cabernet grapes in the Napa Valley.

The 2013 vintage began with a warm, dry spring that brought early bud break and created ideal conditions for flowering and fruit set. Temperatures were consistently favorable and even, resulting in notably healthy vines as fruit went through veraison and began ripening. The overall dry season made for a short harvest and ideal for producing concentrated and balanced Cabernet Sauvignons.

This Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon was crafted with very minimal winemaking intervention. The grapes were cold soaked for 3-5 days and an extended maceration period followed fermentation to help modify the depth and mouthfeel of the wine, fully extract color, flavor and aromatics. The young wine was then racked into small French oak barrels and aged 22 months.

The 2013 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon is of remarkable depth and complexity. It exhibits intense black cherry, boysenberry, blackberry, pine and violets. Exceptionally concentrated and balanced, with particularly integrated tannins and smooth, lengthy finish. It will open up and evolve into an outstanding wine over the next several decades.

Etude North Canyon Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley 750ml Bottle

2015 North Canyon Vineyard Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley

3 bottles

Less than twenty miles from the Pacific Ocean, North Canyon Vineyard sits along the Santa Maria river bench in a secluded canyon that provides some protection from the region’s renowned maritime influences. Located a bit off the direct valley, temperatures are often a few degrees warmer and North Canyon is exposed to extended periods of sunshine that ensure Pinot Noir matures to a bright red fruit character. A variety of rootstocks and clones are planted in calcareous clay sandstone at North Canyon, which differs from the valley’s defining marine mixture of ancient sea bed, clay loam and sand. Fruit from one select block, located on a bluff in the southern, cooler end of the canyon, was chosen for this Pinot Noir. In order to achieve the same high level of quality wines, the farming of North Canyon is uniquely hands on, which ensures viticulture practices and farming measures are comparable with that of Etude’s Estate Vineyards.

Crafted with the same minimal winemaking techniques as Etude’s celebrated Carneros Pinot Noirs, each regional wine purely reflects the unique essence and character of its regional vineyard while still maintaining Etude’s hallmarks of aromatic intrigue, vibrancy of expression and depth in ageability.

Our 2015 North Canyon Vineyard Pinot Noir has a beautiful balance of depth and complexity that stays on the palate long into the finish. On the nose, concentrated flavors of bramble berries are complemented by spice notes of black tea, cola and cloves. Bright acidity, crushed rock minerality and structured tannins add further complexity on the palate. These complex notes indicate that the North Canyon Pinot Noir will age gracefully over many years.

2014 Etude Wines Grace Benoist Ranch Carneros Pinot Noir

2015 Grace Benoist Ranch Pinot Noir Carneros Estate Grown

3 bottles

This 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.

After three years of plentiful harvests, the 2015 vintage brought low, but outstanding yields. A mild spring and summer with almost no rain allowed the fruit to ripen at a very steady and deliberate pace, and picking began a few days earlier than 2014. The drier-than-normal conditions and abundant sunshine contributed to the smaller berry size and low yields, resulting in wines with excellent concentration, color and flavor.

The Carneros Estate Pinot Noir undergoes cold maceration and small lot open-top fermentation with extended time on the skins, and is then aged for 12 months in the finest French oak barrels (25% 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. The wines are subject to a rigorous selection process whereby only the best casks are chosen for the final blend.

The 2015 Carneros Estate Pinot Noir exhibits intriguing and complex layers of dark cherry, raspberry, plum and the signature cinnamon graham cracker spice found in our Grace Benoist Ranch Pinots Noirs. Bright yet concentrated red fruit comes through on the palate, followed by a lush mouth-feel and silky tannins.

2014 Etude Heirloom Grace Benoit Ranch Chardonnay Carneros 750ml bottle

2014 Heirloom Chardonnay Grace Benoist Ranch Carneros Estate Grown

3 bottles

Planted during the initial development of the Grace Benoist Ranch in 2000, the grapes for our Heirloom Chardonnay come from shy-bearing selections that produce small bunches and even smaller berries. Extremely low yields are typical of these unique vines, but the resulting wines are both expressive of their origins and the unique and varied site on which they’re grown. The Chardonnay vineyards at Grace Benoist Ranch have deep, well-drained loamy soils, ideal for growing this cool climate varietal.

The fruit for the Heirloom Chardonnay was harvested at night and gently whole-cluster pressed before being transferred to French oak barrels for fermentation. Traditional in approach, the wine was bottled after 16 months of maturation, with a weekly stirring of the yeast lees for the initial two months of aging to enhance aromatics and increase mouthful. This smalllot Chardonnay was crafted to showcase the unique terroir at Grace Benoist Ranch. The wine underwent full, natural and spontaneous primary fermentation and malolactic fermentation in order to diminish the winery intervention and highlight the natural acidity and beauty of the Chardonnay grape.

Elegant, balanced and restrained, our 2014 Heirloom Chardonnay exhibits aromas of Meyer lemon, golden apple and toasted almonds. The fruit remains persistent throughout and is powerful in its freshness. Lees stirring during maturation in barrel produced a wonderful beeswax texture on the palate. Upon release, this wine is just beginning to give off its breadth of flavors.

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