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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.
Lively in brooding black fruit, this wine is balanced in richness and length, with a lasting wealth of baking spice and black tea. Well integrated, it forms a cohesive experience on the smooth, seductive palate, finding a balance across all its components
-Wine Enthusiast 93 Points
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.
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.
"This isn't shy, offering up a pretty large core of kirsch and linzer torte notes, while racy red tea, dried anise and savory details add energy along the edges. Nice underlying minerality keeps the fruit honest through the finish, too. Drink now through 2030. 230 cases made. — JM"
- Wine Spectator (August 2022), 94 pts
Ancien Pinot Noir Russian River Jouissance is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Jouissance comes from the southwestern corner of the appellation, only nominally protected by the coastal hills and open to the maritime influence of the Pacific Ocean, is the single source for these grapes. The soils here are sandy loam and very well drained, typical for the Russian River Valley. The cooler sections of Russian River, near Sebastopol, are known for producing explosive and aromatic fruit flavors balanced with acidity and earthy aromas. All seventeen rows are planted with Dijon 115 clone, nudging the wine toward perfumed aromas and light spice notes as a compliment to the lush fruitiness derived from the soils.
Notes of strawberry and tart pie cherry are accompanied by notes of sweet vanillin, toasted hazelnut and coffee as an introduction to this joyfully juicy blend of rich fruit and earthy spice. The wine opens to a well integrated mid-palate of dark berries, toffee and cassis. The broad palate is elevated and brightened with a mouthwatering acidity that welcomes this wine to the table. Sassafras, herbal notes and baking spices are revealed in the satisfying finish.
"Enticing, with succulent griotte, loganberry and anise notes driving through, while lightly singed apple wood and bramble accents underscore the finish, where the fruit takes a full encore. Drink now through 2030. 308 cases made. - JM"
- Wine Spectator (August 2022), 93 pts
Pike Road Temperance Hill Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir
Bright, spicy cherry fruit is framed by beautiful floral and exotic spice tones. Don't be fooled by its bright red color, this is not a simple or wimpy wine. Lots of layers are woven into this beautifully exotic Pinot Noir with a silky, elegant finish.
About Temperance Hill Vineyard
This second-generation vineyard was first planted in 1981 on what is believed to be the remnants of an ancient volcano. Exposed to the cold Van Duzer winds at an elevation between 660 and 860 feet, Temperance Hill is one of the cooler sites in the Willamette Valley. Soil types are Nekia, Rittner, and Jory with varying slopes and exposures making it a very complex vineyard site. Temperance Hill is an organically farmed vineyard that uses certified Salmon-Safe methods.
The 2017 Vintage
2017 brought us back to what we consider a classic, cool-climate Oregon vintage, a year when our decades of experience paid off. Wet spring weather led to a more typical growing season compared with the past three vintages, all unusually hot. The summer of 2017 was warm and dry, leading to excellent flavor development in the fruit, but we thinned the crop considerably to ensure concentration and ripeness. Harvest was staggered because of the October rains, which meant long days for our crew during the windows of sun. 2017 wasn’t an easy year to farm, but the fresh, fully developed flavors of the vintage make it worth the hard work.
Pale ruby, the 2017 Pinot Noir Temperance Hill Vineyard opens with charcuterie, cranberries, red currant and wild blackberries with accents of amaro, earth and potpourri. It’s light to medium-bodied with floral-tinged fruits, a firm frame and juicy freshness, finishing long and spiced. 200 cases produced.
-Wine Advocate 92 Points
Ancien Chardonnay Carneros is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Chardonnay Carneros owes its style, depth, and structure to intensely flavored, low yielding, heirloom clones growing in two Carneros vineyards: on the Napa side, the Toyon Farm and on the Sonoma side, the Sangiacomo Vella Ranch. Ancien Wines hand-selected the cuttings themselves, from older vineyards in the Carneros area. These cuttings are reputed to have origins tracing to Paul Masson who imported them from Burgundy in the early 1940’s, from Louis Latour's renowned Corton Charlemagne vineyard. These selections are often referred to as “Old Wente”or “Robert Young,”denoting the sourced mother blocks in the 1960s.
Notes of ripe apple and honeydew melon greet and are delicately perfumed by notes of freesia and citrus blossom. Brighter notes of lime and Meyer lemon match the refreshing acidity of this wine, balanced by a creamy palate and leading to a finish that will continue to lengthen in the coming months. A wonderfully textured and vibrant Chardonnay displaying the best of Carneros.
Chardonnay Carneros is guided toward a layered, complex, and expressive style that develops gracefully in the bottle and shows enticing minerality, vivacious fruit, length and structure. The watchword is balance. Grapes were pressed as whole clusters, settled and fermented entirely in French oak from four different coopers, chosen for their unique synergism and support of the fruit on the palate. One third of the barrels were new. A variety of yeasts were used, including native strains, and fermentation proceeded evenly and slowly, averaging a cool 55°F. The wine was aged on its yeast lees, which were stirred weekly through the spring.
Copain Edmeades Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
This wine embodies everything you love about Anderson Valley Pinot; flavors of strawberry, Rainier cherries with hints of spice.
The 2017 vintage began with significant rainfall prior to bloom, refilling the state’s reservoirs and ending California’s five-year drought. We saw a sudden spike in temperatures just prior to harvest, leading fruit to ripen quicker than anticipated. This sped up our harvest schedule, but due to our team’s vigilance, the fruit was still able to be picked at optimal ripeness. Temperatures then cooled back down by mid-September, allowing the remaining vineyards to complete ripening at an ideal pace. The rest of harvest was finished as planned, with yields coming in at their typical levels.
The historical Edmeades Vineyard sits along the western side of the small town of Philo in what’s known as the “deep-end” of Anderson Valley. Flanked by the Navarro River, there is a diversity of sandstone soils throughout the vineyard. The Edmeades vineyard is planted with vines facing southwest, allowing this vineyard to receive warmer afternoon weather. This helps to balance the prolonged cool fog influence this vineyard sees throughout the growing season.
Aromas: Raspberry, dried cherries, pennyroyal, orange zest.
Palate: Medium weight palate with soft tannins. Notes of cherry, pomegranate, and clove with light delicate cola notes on the finish.
The first vintage for this cuvée from Ryan, the 2017 Pinot Noir Edmeades Vineyard comes from mid-valley and was brought up in 27% new French oak. It's a beautiful wine with blueberry and wild strawberry fruits as well as complex spice, dried flowers, and some loamy soil notes. Medium-bodied, seamless, and silky on the palate, it's a lovely, layered wine that shines for its texture and balanced.
Ferren Pinot Noir Silver Eagle Vineyard is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Winemaker Matt Courtney learned what he knows of Pinot Noir on the Sonoma Coast during his eight-year apprenticeship with Helen Turley of Marcassin Vineyards. At Ferren he employs artisan methods crafting his wines in small lots from single-vineyard sources with native fermentation and without fining or filtration. | Falling Bright
Silver Eagle Vineyard rests atop Stoetz Ridge, the land mass that divides the remote Sonoma Coast from the Russian River Valley. This vineyard experiences both the cooling ocean breezes of the nearby Pacific, as well as the warmth of the interior valley. The wine made from this unique confluence of climates is extraordinary: the Pinot Noir a rare balance of explosive wild berry, mouthwatering acidity, and rich, polished tannins; the Chardonnay a fascinating juxtaposition of briny minerality and candied citrus. [ The late Ulises Valdez - brilliant vineyard manager and owner of this vineyard - built his family home on this spectacular site.] | Ferren
All destemmed and aged 18 months in one-third new French oak, the 2017 Pinot Noir Silver Eagle Vineyard has a fresher, more edgy texture to go with a medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated style on the palate. It's more backward and tight, especially when compared to the Sonoma Coast release, yet still has beautiful notes of black raspberries, wild strawberries, violets, sappy herbs, and a touch of forest floor. Give it a year, and it's going to have a decade of prime drinking.
-Jeb Dunnuck 95+ Points
"Refined and elegant, with a lithe, creamy texture to the dried red fruit and berry flavors, lengthening out with forest forest floor notes. The fine-grained, minerally finish shows leafy accents and hints of sandalwood. Drink now through 2025.—K.M.”
- Wine Spectator Insider (March 18th 2020), 94 pts
Torres Perpetual Priorat is made from Cariñena and Garnacha
Perpetual is a wine born of time and terrain. The old Garnacha and Cariñena vines are between 80 and 100 years old and grow on steep, rocky slopes. Llicorella (slate) is the essence of this beautifully concentrated wine with great personality. The parcels are small and located near several villages of El Priorat. They belong to local winegrowers, but undergo rigorous controls to ensure that the fruit is of the highest quality. Perpetual is a tribute to the well-aging Priorat wines, intense, full of character and born to defeat time.
An elegant and harmonious red, displaying characteristics found in only the finest Cariñena and Garnacha blends. The combination of Priorat’s llicorella soil and temperate growing conditions yields medium bodied expression with highly approachable phenolic qualities. An exotic blend of ripe forest fruit, Mediterranean herbs, mineral nuances, and toasted holiday spice. An age worthy wine that drinks beautifully today.
Schisty aromas of iron and steel are hard to miss on a nose with earthy but fully ripe berry scents. This textbook Priorat blends minerally grip with creamy weight and pulpy ripe flavors of black cherry and black plum, while the finish is slightly sweet and on the easy side, indicating an open drinking window of now through 2026. Michael Schachner
-Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
Mascot is a small-production label founded by Will Harlan in Napa Valley. The wines under this label are made from the younger vines of Harlan Estate, BOND, and Promontory, but The Mascot bottles share an exclusive preview at the development of their estates. Founded as an initial experiment to see what the young vines were capable of producing, the wines were initially only shared with close friends and family. By 2008, Will officially released the first vintage to the public since production had increased significantly. They create just one wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon, and the bottle is aged for five years before release. Assembled into a single, youthful expression, this wine shares a glimpse into the evolution and pedigree of its parent estates.
Following a vintage full of changing conditions and demanding decision points, the steady and pleasant progress of the 2018 vintage left our team, at times, in limbo. Contradictory as it may seem, the dramas that sometimes punctuate the definitive months for the growing season help to frame the winegrowing team’s course of action; yet the tranquil succession of weeks that emerged between spring and fall in 2018 left almost entirely open the question of when to harvest. Healthy rainfall in March and April preceded a benevolent summer, whose mildness was interrupted only briefly by a few warming periods. The fruit of the young vines maintained a measured balance that gave the team little indication that harvest was imminent. Fog and temperate days followed in September, when—relying more on instinct than empirical cues—we began to pick. This judgment—as well as the gentle nature of the season—is confirmed in the subtle, ethereal power of the vintage, which reveals itself first in the deep, brooding aromas of dark fruit, black tea, and herbal notes. The texture expands around a lifted structure, as powdery tannins gently resolve. This diffused, enigmatic softness is anchored on the mid-palate by a gratifying density, which prepares the senses for a flourish of hidden energy and vivid detail that illuminates the finish.