Vintage 2015
Wine Type Red
Varietal Pinot Noir
Region Carneros
Winemaker Jon Priest

The Etude Carneros Pinot Noir is a true reflection of the winery’s estate vineyard, Grace Benoist Ranch. A blend of the best grapes from individual vineyard parcels on the Ranch, this wine tells the story of a particular vintage from a very unique place.

Source: Etude Estate Vineyards at Grace Benoist Ranch, Carneros, Napa Valley
Certified Sustainable: Napa Green Winery & Vineyard
Varietal Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Harvest Dates: September 5 - 9, 2015
Vinification: Aged 12 months in French oak barrels (25% new)
Clones: Dijon 667, 777, 113, 114, 115, 459, Pommard, Martini, various Heirloom
pH: 3.62, TA: 0.56g/100ml, ABV: 14.2%

92 Points, The Wine Advocate

"Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2015 Pinot Noir Grace Benoist Ranch has a savory, sautéed herbs-laced nose over a core of red currants, cranberries and Bing cherries plus hints of dusty earth and iron ore. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the palate with savory/earthy flavors, framed by chewy tannins and finishing with a lot of interesting layers." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate

91 Points, Jeb Dunnuck

"Moving to the reds, the 2015 Pinot Noir Grace Benoist Ranch is a deeply colored effort that has medium-bodied notes of red currants, cherries, campfire and forest floor. It has plenty of texture and a charming, rounded, delicious style ideal for drinking over the coming 4-5 years." - Jeb Dunnuck

Tasting Notes

The 2015 Carneros Estate Pinot Noir exhibits intriguing and complex aromas and flavors of dark cherry, pomegranate, raspberry, plum, black tea and the signature cinnamon graham cracker spice often found in our Grace Benoist Ranch Pinot Noirs. Bright yet concentrated red fruit comes through on the palate, followed by a lush mouthfeel and silky tannins. Elegant, rich but light-hearted, with juicy acidity, balance and a memorable finish.

Vineyard Notes

The Etude Carneros 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.

The vineyard parcels on Grace Benoist Ranch are customized to conform to the various soil types and the changing contours of the topography. Individual vineyards average only 8 acres in size and the 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.

Vintage Notes

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.

Winemaking Notes

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 goal is to produce a Pinot Noir that is of the highest quality and reflects the unique terroir of Etude’s estate vineyards.

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