Etude’s Heirloom Pinot Noir, produced from several heirloom selections of the variety, is dedicated to the celebration and preservation of plant diversity. It exemplifies the singular, superior wines – unusually expressive, concentrated and pure – that issue from original varieties or vine selections chosen for the inherent wine quality they produce.
Source: Etude Estate Vineyards at Grace Benoist Ranch, Carneros, Napa Valley
Varietal Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Vinification: 100% French oak barrels for 13 months
Clones: Various Heirloom Vine selections
Cases produced: 625
“Medium ruby-purple colored, the 2015 Pinot Noir Heirloom is scented of red currants and mulberries with nuances of garrigue, damp soil, black truffles and yeast extract plus a touch of spice box. Medium-bodied, the palate reveals an impressive structure of grainy tannins and racy acidity with tightly wound fruit going earthy into the long finish.” - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, October 2017
“Juicy, tart and refreshing in acidity, this wine's core is defined in savory black tea and cardamom, and highlighted with bold swathes of orange zest and strawberry that linger around the spice. Medium bodied, it's well-integrated in oak and moderate concentration.” - Virginie Boone, May 2018
Our 2015 Heirloom Pinot Noir stands out for delicately entwined notes of orange pekoe tea leaves, cherry fruit, forest floor and gingerbread on the nose. Displaying a subtle savory personality, this wine wows with bright, fresh cherry on the palate, woven with a hint of minerality on the finish. With a true buoyancy on the palate, this wine presents great structure, soft tannins and vivid acidity. Its persistent nature narrates great ageing potential as these nuanced aromas and flavors will continue to harmonize with cellaring.
Grown on the Etude Estate Vineyards at Grace Benoist Ranch, the grapes for our Heirloom Pinot Noir come from shy-bearing selections that produce small bunches and even smaller berries. Although some growers hold these vines in low regard due to their extremely low yields, we prize their ability to produce wines that are both expressive of their genetic origins and the unique and varied site on which they’re grown.
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.
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 fruit was kept whole cluster during fermentation to add further complexity, buoyancy of aromatics and an element of structure and refinement. 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 enhance the richness and mouthfeel of the wine. We lightly pressed the wine into small French oak barrels where it rested for 13 months. The wine was bottled with no fining or filtration.