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
Varietal Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Vinification: Aged 12 months in French oak barrels (25% new)
Clones: Dijon 667, 777, 113, 114, 115, 459, Pommard, Martini, various Heirloom Vine selections
The 2014 Carneros Estate Grown Pinot Noir shows a silky, elegant mouthfeel with juicy, fresh flavors of dark cherry, boysenberry and plum. The core of exuberant red fruit is rounded out by notes of baking spice and sandalwood, and a fine tannin profile frames the concentrated, yet vibrant fruit flavors.
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.
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 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.