2019 Terraces Pinot Noir
A perfumed nose of cherries, redcurrants, incense, pine cones, hazelnuts and baking spices. Medium to full body with fine, silky tannins and bright acidity. Layered and transparent with a spicy edge on the long, polished finish. Drink or hold.
Bouchaine’s 100-acre estate vineyard lies on the southern border of Napa Valley’s Carneros district, overlooking the San Francisco bay with the financial district in the distance. Fog, wind, and the cold nightime temperatures of this unique geographical area lend a distinctive regional identity to our Pinot Noir.
The 2019 growing season will be remembered as a “Goldilocks” vintage. Not too cold, not too hot . . . but just right. Late rains in May had growers biting their nails as these storms can cause damage to vines that are flowering, leading to reduced crop. However, sunshine won that battle and the rains disappeared giving way to a long, consistent growing season throughout the summer. No major heat events appeared during harvest time allowing for beautiful ripening at an even pace. Juuuust right.
All grapes are hand-harvested at night, preserving berry integrity. After the 7-day cold soak, fruit is fermented using native yeast in open-top tanks. Post-fermentation, the wine is drawn off and the must placed into a basket press for gentle pressing. Wines from the 2 terraced vineyard blocks are kept separate and allowed to evolve in French oak barrels, with the most intriguing barrels blended together in summer to showcase the finest expression of our estate terraces.
Usually, when someone is labeled “difficult to work with,” that’s a negative. However, in the case of the Terraces Pinot Noir, being difficult to work with is a bonus. These vines don’t grow in highly-manicured, perfectly straight rows. They don’t have just a single sun exposure nor is the soil profile uniform throughout the block. There is beauty in the chaos though. All the extra work that goes into these terraced hillsides is well worth it and well rewarded. Not exactly an iron fist in a velvet glove, but more like an iron fist dipped in blackberry jam and cocoa. Difficult to work with . . . but easy to love.