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2018 Grace Benoist Ranch Blanc de Noirs Sparkling Wine

2018 Grace Benoist Ranch Blanc de Noirs Sparkling Wine

Carneros750ml 12.5

Etude was founded on the philosophy that winemaking begins in the vineyard, long before the harvest, with superior grape growing leading to wines with authentic varietal expression and a telling...

Etude was founded on the philosophy that winemaking begins in the vineyard, long before the harvest, with superior grape growing leading to wines with authentic varietal expression and a telling reflection of where they are grown and produced.

A dream creation for winemaker Jon Priest, years in the making, our first Blanc de Noirs - a white sparkling wine made from Pinot Noir (black) and Chardonnay (white) grapes, is inspired by a playful experimentation which yielded a few precious cases of this truly unique California sparkling wine from our hallmark Grace Benoist Ranch, Carneros vineyards. Meant to showcase traditional Blanc de Noirs characteristics of bright fruity fleshiness and a bit more body and texture, we hope this sparkling becomes an Etude cult favorite, as its only available in very small quantities exclusively at the winery.

  • Alcohol 14%
Regular price $60.00
Regular price $60.00 Sale price

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Specifications

  • Vintage: 2018
  • Region: Carneros
  • Appelation: Carneros
  • ABV: 12.5
  • Varietal: Blanc de Noirs
  • pH: 3.11

Tasting Notes

This 2018 Blanc de Noirs sparkling wine is a classically styled Brut Méthode Traditionnelle offering the truest expression of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from our Grace Benoist Ranch. A light, pale, straw gold color with flecked hints of rose-gold, and a fine, persistent bead allow the bubbles to dance elegantly in the glass. On the nose, delicate white magnolia floral notes come through alongside Meyer lemon citrus and orange peel, while toasty brioche and vanilla crème notes are more subtle. The palate is crisp and lively with a textured richness to the fine mousse, delivering elegance and vibrancy throughout. The midpalate is fresh and inviting with notes of lemon verbena, white peach, and Golden Delicious apple. Finishing with a long, lush, and exuberant crispness, with mouthwatering minerality and complexity. An ideal thirst-quenching quaffer while sipping as an aperitif, or perfectly paired alongside a variety of cuisines and celebratory occasions. Cheers!

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The Vineyard

GRACE BENOIST RANCH

An exemplary expression of Grace Benoist Ranch estate vineyard, this cuvée is a blend of the best vineyard blocks on the Ranch, tucked away in the far northwest corner of the Carneros appellation. Unlike most Carneros vineyards, which are largely uplifted bay bottoms with soils composed of clay, the soils of Grace Benoist Ranch are variations of volcanic origin. Combining these well-drained, rocky upland soils with the extreme western location closer to San Pablo Bay, makes this cooler site an ideal place to grow Burgundian varieties, known for crafting the world’s best sparkling wines. Vineyard blocks are individually managed to conform to various soil types and the changing contours of the hillside topography. Individual vineyards within Grace Benoist Ranch average only eight acres in size, and 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. Wildlife corridors, raptor roosts and owl boxes are abundant throughout the Ranch.

Process

  • Napa & 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.

  • Sonoma Coast

    Hallberg sits in one of the coolest areas of Sonoma County. Cooler temperatures and moderate weather allowed grapes to ripen perfectly, developing deep complexity, intensity, ripeness and balance with a beautiful freshness that came naturally. There was little to no frost during the spring fruit set and no heat spikes throughout the growing season – all of which helped the grapes reach full maturity, with harvest occurring in mid-September. Generally normal to heavier fruit-set with great flavor intensity and complexity will be the hallmark of the season.

  • Willamette Valley

    The Yamhill-Carlton District of Willamette Valley experienced an almost return to normal vintage in 2018. The spring and summer were some of the warmest and driest on record, but with no heat spikes recorded, the season increased in length due to the cool autumn weather. That allowed grapes to hang and develop complex flavors on the vine, while retaining freshness and acidity. The characteristic of the vintage is rich Pinot Noir fruit, with fully developed flavors, and a richness of tannins that gave structure to the wines.

  • Santa Barbara

    What may be considered a ‘classic’ vintage, the wines from 2018 show tremendous intensity and complexity. Santa Barbara County provided a mild to warm summer, with a cooler autumn, allowing the grapes to remain on the vine until they reached ideal maturity. While the quality of the grapes was phenomenal, our overall yields were down slightly due to smaller berry size and clusters. The fruit was harvested in late September, yielding wines with beautifully balanced acidity, exceptional weight and texture, and complex varietal flavors.

Crafted Excellence

Winemaking

The 2018 vintage presented our second annual opportunity to craft this stunning Blanc de Noirs. Our winemaker’s intention is to craft a sparkling wine to mimic a grower produced sparkling approach, accomplishing a classically styled Méthode Traditionnelle Blanc de Noirs, honoring the techniques used in Champagne, France. Handpicked fruit was harvested in the cool morning hours and sent directly to the winery where it was gently whole cluster pressed. When producing a Blanc de Noirs cuvee, our winemakers remove the dark grape skins just after the fruit has been pressed. This way, the clear grape juice ferments separately and produces a white sparkling wine. Pinot Noir from our Grace Benoist vineyard is the base wine of this cuvee, 10% of which went to barrel for fermentation, while chardonnay completes the rest of the blend, adding brightness, complexity, and fruity character on the mid palate while also drawing out the length of the finish. The wine spent over four years on lees prior to disgorging, then some time resting in bottle, before releasing in Fall of 2022.