2019 Lavender Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir
Our Lavender Hill Vineyard is one of the coolest sites in Napa Valley, located in the southern part of the Carneros AVA where fog and breezes from the nearby San Pablo Bay create an optimal climate for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The grapes for our 2019 Pinot Noir came from three small blocks, less than 1.5 acres each, planted to three outstanding French clones: clone 38 from Dijon and clone 90 from Chambertin, plus the “suitcase” clone 828 (a clone smuggled into the U.S. from Dijon many years ago). These clones produce low yields of small clusters and berries, resulting in concentrated wines with intense aromatics and beautiful fruit characteristics.
After hand sorting in the vineyard and again at the winery, the grapes for our Lavender Hill Pinot Noir were gently crushed and transferred to small stainless steel tanks where the fruit underwent a four-day cold soak. Following fermentation, one hundred percent of the wine aged for 18 months in small French oak barrels from the Burgundian barrel cooper, François Frères. We used a mix of toast levels as well as new and used barrels so as not to overwhelm the delicate and aromatic Pinot Noir fruit.
Heavy rainfall at the beginning of the 2019 growing season replenished reservoirs and gave the soils plenty of moisture. The vintage saw a long, warm summer with few extreme heat events, and the cool evenings and mornings set the stage for vibrant and expressive wines. Relatively mild weather during harvest preserved freshness and finesse in the fruit, while extended hang time teased out great color, structure and soft tannins.
The 2019 Lavender Hill Pinot Noir is fresh and aromatic with an array of dark black cherry, plum and raspberry fruit. Rich and layered with spice box and creamy oak, the wine is deftly balanced with subtle notes of sandalwood, mocha, vanilla and espresso. The fine-grained tannins are mild and the wine’s structure will easily reward ten years of aging.
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Appellation: Carneros, Napa Valley
Aging: 18 months in French oak barrels