The Grace Benoist Estate vineyard is farmed to Etude’s exacting standards, using environmentally sound viticultural practices. We grow and ultimately harvest focusing on intensity of flavor, strong varietal delineation and ideal natural balance.
Source: Etude Estate Vineyards at Grace Benoist Ranch, Carneros, Napa Valley
Varietal Composition: 100% Pinot Blanc
Vinification: 100% neutral French oak barrels for 10 months
Fresh in Meyer lemon, Honeycrisp apple and crisp Bosc pear, the 2013 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 the 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.
This wine is crafted from Pinot Blanc grapes 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.
Despite drought conditions, the 2014 vintage proved to be ideal, with excellent quality reminiscent of 2012 and 2013. The winter was one of the driest on record in California, but substantial rains in early spring were timely and set up the vines for a strong start. Summer temperatures were milder than expected with no extremes, and after early bud break and veraison, harvest was unusually early.
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.