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Ancien Pinot Noir Carmel Valley River Ranch 2021

ID No: 450575
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 Wine Enthusiast: 95
Country:United States
Region:California
Winery:Ancien wines
Grape Type:Pinot Noir
Vintage:2021
Bottle Size:750 ml
Product Description

Ancien Pinot Noir Carmel Valley River Ranch is made from 100% Pinot Noir.

River Ranch Vineyard from suitcase clone of famous vineyard, mother block to the Pisoni clone as well.


Spice, tea, and plum and blackberry aromas dance atop currants and boysenberry pie. The opulence continues with secondary notes of chocolate and black tea that lead to satisfying elegant finish revealing jasmine. The finish is mouthwatering and long with presenting umami, soy, and Asian spice. Planted to the same special cuttings as our block at the Toyon Farm in Carneros, they are a joy tasting side by side, illustrating the profound influence of terroir.

Pair with Asian, pork with hoisin sauce, savory foods.


Review:

"Sourced from a vineyard of imported Burgundian cuttings planted back in 1982, this is a complex Pinot Noir, offering concentrated aromas of blueberry, palo santo and warm vanilla on the nose. The palate is joyous in cherry and baking-spice flavors, then picks up an herbaceous eucalyptus leaf kick before dropping into a spicy, Sichuan peppercorn-laced finish. - M.K."
- Wine Enthusiast (February/March 2024), 95 points + Editor's Choice

Winery: Ancien wines

The Ancien Estate Wines
The Estate is owned by Ken and Teresa Bernards whose combined experience is moving into its 3rd decade, having made acclaimed wines for other producers prior to focusing on their own label, Ancien. Their trips to Burgundy filled them with inspiration drawn from the ancient history and tradition of winemaking.  While the techniques have constantly been refined, they have been using the same principles of winemaking for generations.

The Ancien Vineyards
Carneros Chardonnay
comes from a plant selection, planted on vineyards at the Toyon Ranch on the Napa side of Carneros and the Vella Ranch. Carneros Pinot Noir is a blend of two very similar vineyards situated near the Napa-Sonoma county line at the southern end of the appellation. The two vineyards, Domaine Chandon and the Ferguson Ranch, were both planted in 1973. Both are austere sites with lean soils and low vigor. The similarity of site, rootstock, clone and vine age (28 year old) ensure a commonality between the wines. Sonoma Mountain Pinot Noir is grown in Steiner Vineyard, at 1100 feet elevation, on the cool northwestern slope, 17 miles from the ocean. The first grapes were planted here in 1973  (making them pioneer of the region). Seeing the unique qualities of grapes grown in this outstanding area, they were a driving force in creating the Sonoma Mountain Appellation. The soils vary through the vineyard changing from clay loamy stuff with fractured ryolite to an austere rocky area.  Carneros Pinot Gris is grown on the far southwestern edge at the Sangiacomo family's El Novillero Vineyard (2 acres). The soils and eastern facing orientation are perfect.

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TW Tasting notes: A lively and balanced wine with aromas of white-fleshed fruit. It offers hints of toasted almond on the nose and is very long on the palate. Mineral and energetic, it will only open up fully after a few years in the cellar. In the top 5 of my top Meursault picks.

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Corinne Perchaud Chablis Premier Cru Vaucoupin 2021

Corinne Perchaud Chablis Premier Cru Vaucoupin is 100 percent Chardonnay. 

The vineyard The plots are on the Vaucoupin Chichée village. They are very steep and facing south, their average age is 40 years. The total area is 1.45 hectares. The vines are planted on soil Kimmeridgian marl consisting clay and limestone with dominant clay. Winemaking After a slight settling, the juice is put in to achieve its fermentation tank alcoholic and malolactic. It follows a long aging on lees to bring a maximum of complexity of aromas and flavors. If necessary, we make a collage to bentonite to remove proteins and a passing cold which eliminates tartar crystals. Then we perform a tangential filtration is the filtration method most friendly to wine.

The wine will be bottled 16 months after harvest. The relatively high temperatures at the end of winter allowed an early bud vines in early March. With a hot, dry spring flower took place in good conditions. In July, a hailstorm located did some damage to our Fourchaume plot. July and early August, rainy and stormy brought the water needed for the vineyards. The dry and sunny weather of the second half of August brought the grapes to maturity. The harvest began on September 2 under clement skies.

Pairs well with seafood, shellfish.

Paul Hobbs George Menini Estate Pinot Noir 2021

Paul Hobbs George Menini Estate Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir. 

A more reflective style of Pinot Noir from the Sebastopol Hills, our inaugural release presents deep ruby in hue with fresh raspberry, mountain strawberry, and baking spices. On the palate, notes of blue fruits, sandstone, and vanilla caress the palate, framed by supple tannins and juicy acidity creating tension. This is a bright and focused wine with a long, elegant finish.


Review:

This is so spicy, with crushed cloves, nettles and blue fruit. Sichuan spices, too. Full-bodied with juicy fruit and orange zest. Creamy and polished tannins. Wonderful depth and length. Drink or hold.

-James Suckling 97 Points


 97 Points
Belle Glos Chardonnay Glasir Holt Vineyard 2021

Belle Glos Chardonnay Glasir Holt Vineyard is made from 100 percent Chardonnay

Positioned near the ocean on California's Central Coast, the Glasir Holt Vineyard sits on the western edge of Santa Rita Hills. Although Wagner’s intentions were to grow Pinot Noir on this vineyard, a small portion of the land had an enticing chalky-like characteristic to the soil, primarily due to the high PH level and its calcareous nature. Always one to rise to a new challenge, Wagner wanted to try something new and plant Chardonnay vines. Due to the maritime impact of the ocean, cool days, and cooler nights, he was able to grow this beautiful, mineral-driven Chardonnay, resulting in a classic, elegant style of wine, mirroring the rest of the Belle Glos portfolio.

“No other vineyard that we have farmed throughout California’s coast could match the character and quality of the Chardonnay at Glasir Holt,” says Joe Wagner. “It is a more than an exceptional place and it shows in the grapes and in the wine. With the winemaking, we took a very traditional approach to allow for the purist expression of what Mother Nature gave us, which was a glaringly articulate embodiment of the soil and climate. So much so, that I could not deny its place as a vineyard designate to sit alongside it’s Belle Glos brethren.”

In the cellar, the whole clusters were lightly pressed to separate all the solids and juice before sitting for about 24 hours. The liquid then went through a native yeast fermentation prior to fermenting in 10% concrete tanks and 90% new French oak barrels. During the fermentation process, malolactic fermentation occurred, which elevated the body of the wine, while the remaining lees were stirred once a week. The wine was aged for 12 months before it was put into bottle to be enjoyed by all!


The Bryson Barrel Select Red 2016

This limited release wine is created from the fusion of two exceptional parcels of 70% Shiraz and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. This classic blend is matured in the finest oak crafting an intriguing unison that captures the essence of the vineyard and highlights its unique varietal expression.

Vintage Overview
2013 was a very good season with predominantly mild, dry days. Yields were generally low and this did result in some excellent parcels of fruit being harvested. Vine-balance was carefully monitored, resulting in fruit that demonstrates the vibrancy and fruit-derived characters that we strive for in our wines. By all accounts it was a textbook vintage.

Tasting Notes
Deep inky purple in color. Aromas of blackberry, mocha, mint and spices. Lush, ripe palate dominated by black fruits, cherry and chocolate. An expansive palate with black fruits and nicely balanced by oak.

Made with the greatest dedication and care, select parcels were matured in new and seasoned French and American oak for up to 20 months prior to being selected for this blend. Individual barrels from our family estate that best demonstrate the intensity of our fruit, balanced by integrated oak were selected for the final blend, which was then bottled with minimal filtration.

Pairs well with venison, ribeye steak, lamb.

Review:

70% Shiraz and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. Fruit and oak combine here to produce a powerful, full-bodied red with coffee, toast, blackberry and rick plum flavours pouring through the palate. Tannin taps gently at the brakes: peppercorn and pine notes add lift: creaminess to the texture keeps everything running smoothly. Screwcap. 14.5% alc.

Halliday Wine Companion 2020 94 Points



 94 Points
Xavier Vignon Chateauneuf du Pape XV Rouge 2018

Xavier Vignon Chateauneuf du Pape XV Rouge is made from 50% Grenache, 45% Mourvèdre and 5% Syrah. From 100 year old vines. 

It shows a bit of toasty oak up front but balances that with ample black cherry fruit and soft, dusty tannins. Long and harmonious on the finish, it should drink well on release in 2019 and for a decade or more after that.

Pairs with beef with mustard sauce - Pork tenderloin with winter vegetables - Roasted duck - Malaysian pork chop and spice tea.

Review:

Checking in as equal parts Syrah and Mourvèdre, the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape XV will certainly be an outstanding wine. It sports a deep purple color as well as lots of black and blue fruits, leafy herbs, cracked pepper, and a touch of minerality. Medium to full-bodied, it has good balance, terrific purity, and outstanding length.

-Jeb Dunnuck 90-93 Points




 93 Points
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Ancien Pinot Noir Russian River Jouissance 2021

Ancien Pinot Noir Russian River Jouissance is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir. 


Jouissance is sourced from the single vineyard established and farmed by Mark Lingenfelder at his home estate.  Mark’s decades of experience as a vineyard manager and consulting viticulturalist have provided him the depth of experience to reach the pinnacle at his own property.  Having worked with storied wineries over the years, we are grateful our paths have crossed enabling us to work with him for our Russian River designate.  He tends the vines himself while relying on neighbor Lee Martinelli to provide additional help at the peak times.  We work with a mix of Pommard and Dijon 667 vines from his oldest and youngest blocks – aged wisdom combines with youthful vigor!

The 2021 growing season was a welcome success after a more varied and challenging 2020.  The vines came on with aplomb, demonstrating the rich fruit concentration we expect – even if the crop was meager.  The ongoing drought in California served to further accentuate the character and concentration of the fruit.  While warmer conditions have prevailed in other areas, the coastal areas of California continue to benefit from the maritime influence and moderating influence that it brings.

We fermented in our one ton, open-top tanks after filling by gravity.  A warm fermentation with a combination of native and isolated Burgundian yeasts produced excellent and focused flavor extraction, complemented with traditional punch-downs by hand. The wine was aged entirely in Francois Freres cooperage, 40% new, and racked once, gently, prior to bottling.  Grapes, must, and wines were moved using gravity through to the barrel and using inert gas through racking and bottling.   151 cases produced.

Bright fruit notes dominate the aromas with bright cherry, plum, and boysenberry underlaid by allspice and clove.  On the palate the wine is liquid velvet, it’s silkiness segueing into a burst of fruit and spice that rides high on the palate while gradually opening to deeper berry, tea, and baking spices.  It is a refreshing and lively Pinot Noir in its youth that will continue to fill out in depth and complexity over the next 2-5 years.




Ancien Pinot Noir Carneros 2019

Ancien Pinot Noir Carneros is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir. 

Pinot Noir Carneros comes entirely from the Toyon Vineyard, located in the Napa side of Carneros. This vineyard was originally planted for Ancien Wines in 1998 with cuttings tracing back to the Swan estate in Sonoma County and Dijon 115 - followed by cuttings from Ed Penhoet’s vineyard in Carmel Valley. Ed’s selection from River Selection is a story into itself, and is sometimes referred as “Pisoni Clone” since Gary Pisoni took cuttings from the vineyard in the early ‘80s.

Baking spice sings in an endless symphony with wild berry notes, complemented by characteristic Carneros notes of cola. Juicy cherry notes grace the palate and combine seamlessly with anise and hibiscus, ending on a savory note. The palate is round and full of textural, mouth-coating tannins balanced by a bright acidity. Broad chewy tannins, earthy spices and minerality complement the fruit and exotic floral notes of this wine. The palate of this delicious wine will continue to develop in opulence over years of aging, revealing even darker layers and an increasingly smooth texture.

  

 



Ancien Pinot Noir Fiddlestix 2020

Ancien Pinot Noir Fiddlestix is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.

The Fiddlestix Vineyard is located in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, which straddle the Santa Ynez River as it makes its way to the Pacific Ocean. As an East-West oriented valley, opening its mouth to the cool Pacific breezes, the consistent and cooling marine influence is significant. The vineyard is managed and owned in partnership by Kathy Joseph, who has planted an array of clones and rootstocks on several, varied soils to create a staggering level of diversity from this single vineyard. The remarkably consistent weather, characterized by lower highs and higher lows than our North Coast vineyards, conspires with silica-laden, marine sedimentary soils to make wines of power and exceptional structure.


Fiddlestix always presents a bold Pinot Noir with notes of fruit and exotic spice. As the vines have aged, we noticed more and more underlying depth (they now are approaching their 25th vintage). The nose greets with notes of cassis, Indian spice, and hints of incense. Fresh dark fruits lead the palate, and the focus settles on ripe flavors of blackberry and currants spiced with peppercorn/allspice. Velvety and softly chewy tannins emphasize structure, while ever-present acidity balances and brightens. The spicy aromatics and flavors continue through the long finish.



Paul Hobbs Russian River Pinot Noir 2021

Paul Hobbs Russian River Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.

Sourced predominately from the estates that are defined by their proximity to the coast and Russian River climate, the wine displays vivid crimson and aromas of violet, Morello cherry, and black tea. Velvet tannins on the palate ride along a juicy backbone of flavors such as cranberry, Blood orange, and Damson plum. The finish is long, powered behind a crisp acidity and appealing red clay-like minerality.

 

Review:
The 2021 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley) is dense, heady and explosive. All the classic Russian River exuberance comes through, but amplified in all of the good ways and none of the bad. Even with all of the richness and intensity, the 2021 retains good freshness as well as energy. A touch of whole clusters brightens the finish nicely.
-Vinous 95 Points



 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 95
Trione Pinot Noir River Road Ranch 2018

Trione Pinot Noir River Road Ranch is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.

River Road Ranch encompasses 115 acres in the heart of the Russian River Valley appellation. Located on the western bench of the Santa Rosa Plain, the vineyard thrives in well-drained soils. The region's fog-cooled nights are ideal for this varietal.

This Pinot Noir presents aromas of dark cherry, exotic spice, green tea and a slight earthiness we call forest floor. The wine is silky on the palate, beautifully balanced, with a long finish. The Pinot Noir's firm structure suggests excellent aging potential, 10-15 years.

We made this Pinot Noir in small lots, using traditional techniques —fermenting in open-top tanks and hand-plunging the caps during primary fermentation. To accentuate the outstanding fruit flavors, we added 20% whole clusters to the each fermenter. The Pinot Noir aged twelve months in French oak barrels (40% new) from coopers Meyrieux Traditional House and Remond. 


Review:

"A savory and mossy pinot noir with racy berries, licorice and ash. Some coca cola, too. This is deep and decadent with some dried roses and wet earth on the palate and some darker fruit and herbs in the lengthy finish. Drink or hold."

- James Suckling (June 2022), 92 pts


 



 92 Points
Ziata Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2019

Ziata Pinot Noir Russian River Valley is made from 100% Pinot Noir. 

Vineyard Notes

Green Valley is tightly delineated geographically and climatically, and is the most consistent Sonoma Coast appellation in terms of soil, climate and flavor profile. Two factors, in particular, make it ideal for Pinot Noir. First, the predominant soil type is Goldridge, which with its excellent drainage and low fertility, curtails the vine’s vigor. This results in fewer clusters but of better quality. Second, its elevation and cool coastal climate mean a smaller swing between and day and night temperatures, and its overall cooler daytime temperatures allow for a longer growing season to bring out the full potential of the fruit.


Tasting Notes

This silky Pinot Noir opens with aromas of fresh strawberry, cherry, raspberry and plum, warmed by notes of spice, forest floor and cedar. The wine is fresh and balanced on the palate, with fruit and beautifully integrated oak flowing into a long, juicy finish.


Production Notes

This was the third year of drought, but well-timed watering in the vineyard ensured ample growth and cluster development. Rolling heat spells prior to harvest were kept in check by cool nights, courtesy of the nearby Pacific Ocean. This diurnal range resulted in a medium-bodied, juicy gem of a Pinot Noir.



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