Pinot Case Club

2014 Etude Ellenbach Vineyard Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 750ml bottle

2014 Ellenbach Vinyard Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

3 bottles

Pinot Noir expresses the place it was grown to a degree like no other wine grape. The varietal offers a delicate transparency that when pursued correctly, effortlessly reveals its origins. After 30 years of crafting Pinot Noir in Carneros, Etude continues its study of this captivating varietal and its varying expressions in some of the New World’s most renowned Pinot-producing regions.

Ellenbach Vineyard sits just four miles from the Pacific Ocean in Annapolis, the northernmost part of the “true” Sonoma Coast region. Located on steep, remote, coastal hillsides, Ellenbach is just above the fog line and defined by its proximity to the ocean and unique 800 feet elevation. Very cool nights allow for ideal preservation of acidity and long, intense, sunny days permit grapes to ripen slowly and evenly. A variety of clones are planted in distinctive Goldridge soil, which differs from the region’s tilted plates and volcanic soils. These well-draining Goldridge soils combined with the vineyard’s steep hillsides further the vines struggle, which adds complexity and concentration to the resulting wines.

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 and still maintains Etude’s hallmarks of aromatic intrigue, vibrancy of expression and depth in ageability.

Our 2014 Ellenbach Pinot Noir stands out for its depth, structure and concentration of fruit. The nose intrigues with lush red cherry, reminiscent of kirsh and cherries jubilee. High notes of lilac and violets add complexity of the bouquet. On the palate, the rich fruit, bright acidity and sensuous tannins suggest that the wine will open up beautifully over the next several years.

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.

Etudes Wines Pinot Blanc Carneros 750ml bottle

2015 Grace Benoist Ranch Pinot Blanc Carneros Estate Grown

3 bottles

These Pinot Blanc grapes are grown on our Estate Vineyards at Grace Benoist Ranch. The small vineyard parcel is planted with certified Alsatian clones and the deep, well-drained loamy soils are perfect for grape growing. The cooler temperatures at Grace Benoist Ranch provide for a long and even growing season, allowing the fruit to fully ripen while still preserving natural acidity. Pinot Blanc tends to be the most vigorous and productive of all the Pinot varieties, but the limiting soils of Grace Benoist Ranch and deliberate crop thinning help moderate the cluster size to yield a pure varietal expression.

The Grace Benoist Estate vineyard is farmed to Etude’s exacting standards, using environmentally sound viticultural practices. We grow and harvest focusing on intensity of flavor, strong varietal delineation and ideal natural balance.

The grapes for our Carneros Pinot Blanc were handpicked at night to preserve freshness and acidity. After gentle whole-cluster pressing, the juice was transferred to neutral Frenck oak barrels for fermentation. The wine was aged sur lie for 10 months before bottling. Our Pinot Blanc is crafted to showcase the unique terroir of Grace Benoist Ranch and did not go through malolactic fermentation.

Fresh Meyer lemon, Honeycrisp apple and crisp Bosc pear, the 2014 Pinot Blanc is beautifully aromatic. The generous fruit flavors are followed by delicate botanical tree blossom notes. The wine has the richness and depth that have become hallmarks of Etude’s Pinot Blanc with a hint of beeswax and the lightest suggestion of creaminess that is ultimately brightened by striking acidity and balanced with wet stone minerality.