Vintage 2014
Wine Type Red
Varietal Pinot Noir
Region Sonoma Valley
Winemaker Margo Van Staaveren

Tasting Notes

The inviting aromas of black raspberry, savory spice and sweet tobacco ring true on the lush palate. Flavors of raspberry, clove spice and smoked charcuterie stand alongside the firm backbone this wine offers from the cool climate growing region of the Benoist Ranch. The French oak aging of this wine integrates and smoothes the tannins, creating a creamier texture. The wine is well-balanced with bright acidity and offers crushed rock minerality on the lingering finish.


The 2014 Reserve Pinot Noir offers beautiful aromas of black cherry, raspberry, tobacco box and baking spice. The vivid floral and black tea aromas offer complexity and lead to a dense yet elegant palate with layers of juicy fruit flavors as well as savory notes of smoked meats and cardamom spice. The wine is seamless and well-balanced with good structure, fine tannins and a long, expressive.


Winemaking Notes

Gentle fruit handling is paramount to great Pinot Noir production. Cap management and cold soaking are also key parts of the equation. Cold soaking before fermentation allows for the extraction of more color and flavor from this relatively thin-skinned grape. We utilize both open and closed top fermenters for our Pinot Noir, always focusing on careful movement of the cap.

This regime results in the best extraction of color, flavor and tannins from the skin. Each lot is assessed and individual barrels are tasted, those barrels that show the greatest intensity are kept aside for the Reserve bottling. After 17 months of barrel aging in 100% French oak (39% new), the final selection is made and the blend is assembled. Bottled unfined, this wine receives an additional seven months of bottle age before its release.

Vintage Notes

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.