The 2005 vintage marked the inaugural release of our Temblor Pinot Noir, the second vineyard-designated Pinot Noir from the Etude Estate Vineyards at Grace Benoist Ranch. These vineyards are tucked away in the far northwest corner of the Carneros appellation and feature well-drained, rocky upland soils. The site includes six different soil types and a wide variety of topographical features, and the vineyard parcels were customized to conform to the various soil types and the changing contours of the topography. The diverse sites on this beautiful property allow us to highlight certain portions of the vineyard by illustrating the variations of wine character attributable to different soil series and microclimates.
Source: Etude Estate Vineyards at Grace Benoist Ranch, Carneros, Napa Valley
Varietal Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Vinification: Aged 13 months in French oak barrels (33% new)
Clones: Dijon 667, 777 & 115
Production: 487 cases
Expressive of the signature quality fruit of Grace Benoist Ranch, our 2014 Temblor Pinot Noir radiates a deeply pitched aromatics of raspberry and bing cherry confiture with harmonious undertones of cinnamon, clove, and vanilla. On the palate, the fruit expression is vibrant and lifted with wonderful acidity. Upon release, this wine is just beginning to open up and promises to age gracefully.
The Temblor Vineyard is located on a gradual slope that faces east. The soils here are very well-drained, with tightly packed volcanic boulders and cobbles braided throughout – a result of the Rodgers Creek Fault line which is adjacent to the vineyard. This site is directly influenced by the Petaluma Gap, causing the fog to develop early and recede late in the day. The gradual slopes and moderate microclimate allow for even vine growth and fruit ripening.
Despite drought conditions, the 2014 vintage proved to be ideal, with excellent quality reminiscent of 2012. 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 in 2014.
The grapes for this wine were handpicked at night to preserve freshness and acidity. They were placed in open-top fermenters for 3-5 days of cold maceration followed by fermentation. A small percentage of the grapes were left as whole cluster to preserve the buoyancy of aromatics of the fruit and to add structure and refinement to the wine. We performed punch downs during the early stages of fermentation with the extraction becoming gentler as the wine became dry, and followed with a quiet extended maceration to help modify the richness and mouthfeel of the wine. We lightly pressed the wine into small French oak barrels (33% new) where it rested for 13 months. The wine was bottled with no fining or filtration.