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Holocene Apocrypha Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Apocrypha Pinot Noir tends to showcase the blue and black end of the fruit spectrum, along with a brambly, floral, dried sage and thyme profile, higher acid than the Memorialis and more power.
We tend to enjoy this wine with lamb merguez sausage and saffron rice.
"Coming from more volcanic, south-facing soils, the 2018 Pinot Noir Apocrypha was 15% destemmed and will see 16 months in 20% new barrels. It’s a slightly darker-hued and darker fruited effort offering lots of blue fruits, iron, violets, and mineral aromatics. While it was basically not destemmed, there are no obvious stems on either the nose or palate, and it’s beautifully balanced, has bright acidity, medium to full-bodied richness, and a great finish. It’s another rock star of a Pinot Noir from Todd Alexander."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020), 94-96 pts
By now, everyone knows that the Willamette Valley is an amazing place to grow Pinot Noir. When Todd Alexander relocated from Napa Valley to partner up with Force Majeure Vineyards, he knew he also wanted to start a project where he could focus attention on a varietal and growing region that he loved. Part of the excitement of being in the Pacific Northwest is the ability to have access to so many amazing vineyards and so much diversity, along with the opportunity to push boundaries and try new things – something that is becoming increasingly difficult in other growing regions.
He partners up with a few very small, diverse and amazing vineyards in the Willamette Valley, sourcing fruit from these dry-farmed sites that emphasize low yields, sustainable practices and produce outstanding fruit.
The wines are crafted in the same way Todd has been making wine since he was carrying it out at Bryant Family Vineyard in the Napa Valley — utilizing very low-impact, non-industrial techniques, native yeasts, little extraction and little new oak, and never filtering or fining. This allows a real sense of place to show through in the wines that is often dimmed when too much manipulation is undertaken.
The first vintage was 2015, and was released in early 2017.
"I continue to love these Pinot Noirs under Todd Alexander’s Holocene label. While they’re not from Washington State, I was able to taste these during my visit with Force Majeure (which are also made by Todd) and I’m thrilled to be able to include them here." - Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020)
Holocene Memorialis Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Holocene Pinot Noir Memorialis is a blend of 777, Pommard and 115 clones from MonksGate vineyard in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, and it saw about 20% new French oak for 16 months prior to bottling. It is always the lighter and more feminine of the two Holocene wines, with red fruits, white flowers, dried herbs, mushroom and forest floor aromatics, bright acidity and a lithe texture, long finish.
"Showing beautifully, with a Côte de Nuit-like nose of darker cherries, strawberries, sappy herbs, baking spices, and flowers, the 2018 Pinot Noir Memorialis is medium to full-bodied and has a gorgeously textured, layered mouthfeel, present tannins, and a solid spine of acidity. It would give many a Grand Cru Red Burgundy a run for its money in a blind tasting."
- Jeb Dunnuck (May 2021), 95 pts
Argot Bastard Tongue Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Sonoma Pinot Noir.
Inheriting an unbroken string of success, the “Bastard Tongue” arrives fully-formed and ready to impress. Always a blend from multiple Pinot Noir vineyards, this iteration of “BT” was selected from three distinct sites, each making their own unique contribution of Sonoma County terroir to the wine’s character.
Exploding forth on a tidal wave of high-toned, intense red and black fruits, this is a Pinot Noir that no stemware can contain. The palate’s profound depth is balanced by an inherent freshness, allowing the wine to crackle with brambly energy, while sustained by bass notes of underbrush, black tea, pie spice and baker’s chocolate. A formidable rendition of “Bastard Tongue”, and a deserving successor to its line.
Night harvested by hand throughout September, cluster and berry sorted by hand, de-stemmed, no crushing. 7-day cold soaks, followed by native fermentation in open-top bins. Average time on the skins, 14 days. Aging 20 months in French oak, 100% new. Never racked prior to bottling. Bottled unfined, unfiltered.
Very versatile for pairing. Goes well with grilled meat, vegetable, fish, poultry and cheese.
"A more limited production cuvée, the 2018 Pinot Noir Bastard Tongue is a big, ripe, sexy beast of a Pinot Noir delivering loads of black cherry and black raspberry fruit intermixed with plenty of spring flowers, sappy herb, and forest-like nuances. Full-bodied, it has a hedonistic, sweetly fruited style, ripe tannins, and a great finish. It doesn’t pull any punches yet stays balanced, textured, and a joy to drink. It should keep for 5-7 years or so.”
- Jeb Dunnuck, 95 pts
Argot Pinot Noir Sonoma County is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Everything you have come to expect from an Argot Pinot Noir, shone through the filter of a textbook-perfect vintage. We simply can not get over the quality of fruit this wine displays! Intense, yet fresh; fruity, yet spicy; brambly, yet juicy; immediate, yet lingering. A Pinot Noir that displays the variety’s natural come-hither attitude, while succinctly capturing its intriguing nature. There are not enough superlatives to describe this wine. Almost too easy to love!
VINEYARD Multiple vineyards throughout Sonoma County, including both valley floor and high-elevation hillside sites
PRODUCTION 600 cases
VARIETAL 100% Pinot Noir
CRUSH Night harvested by hand beginning in mid-September, concluding at our coolest sit on October 13. Cluster and berry sorted by hand, de-stemmed, no crushing
FERMENT 7-day cold soaks, followed by native fermentation in open-top containers, with the grapes fermenting on their skins for an average time of 14 days.
AGING 16 months, French oak barrels, 7% new, remainder once-used. Never racked prior to bottling. Bottled un-fined, unfiltered.
NOTES Singularly great. 2018 was an all-time vintage for California’s North Coast, achieving rarely before experienced heights. A mild summer gave way to Autumnal perfection, allowing cooler areas the opportunity to ripen their crop while chemistries remained perfect. What arrives in bottle is nothing short of a pinnacle representation of Sonoma County Pinot Noir — profound depth of pure, red Pinot Noir fruits, caressing textures balanced by deep minerality and a quenching acidity.
Argyle Reserve Series Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Entirely from our Lone Star Vineyard, 2018 Nuthouse Pinot Noir highlights the structured, yet refinement of the Eola-Amity Hills. Black cherry, raspberry, rose petal, and savory herbs are buoyed by a dense core of fresh, vibrant acidity. The wine opens with sleekness and elegance while finishing with persistent, polished tannin. Cold soaking and fermenting in small, 1.5-ton fermenters enhances silky texture, while 20% whole cluster inclusion increases freshness, complexity, and length.
Refined and sleekly structured, with multilayered raspberry and cherry flavors that are laced with black tea and spice and glide on a long finish. Drink now through 2027. 7,000 cases made.
-Wine Spectator 92 Points
Lismore Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir
Complex bouquet of crushed rose petals, wild jasmine and fresh French herbs followed by a palate full of cranberry, raspberry and a long savory finish.
The grapes were picked at optimal ripeness. 30% whole bunch fermented in large 5000 liter vats with gentle pump-overs twice a day. The process allowed for a long extraction period which lends to the fruit expression and structure of this wine. The free run wine was drained off and the fermented grapes were then pressed in a traditional wooden basket press. The wine was racked into 225, 300 and 500 liter barrels where malolactic fermentation took place and the wine was aged for 10 months. 35% new French oak was used.
"The 2018 Pinot Noir comes from Walker Bay and Kaaimansgat and includes 30% whole-bunch fruit, aged for 11 months in 25% new oak. The bouquet sports vivid red cherry and raspberry fruit that is exceptionally well defined and beautifully integrated with the oak. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins, well-judged acidity and a slightly fleshy texture. There is just the right amount of salinity here, and the finish is kept on a tight leash, allowing the detail and precision to be fully expressed. A slight sour edge on the finish keeps you coming back for another sip. Excellent and reassuringly classy. - Neal Martin" - Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2019), 92 pts
"Walker Bay and Elandskloof are the twin sources of 30% whole bunch-fermented Pinot from Sam O'Keefe. Juicy, floral and charming, it's a graceful, fruit forward style with some clove and tobacco spice and refreshing acidity. The finish is a little firmer than I remember. 2020-24"- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2020 Special Report), 92 pts
Paul Hobbs Russian River Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
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.
The largest production cuvée is the 2018 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley, which comes from multiple sites and was aged 9 months in 43% new French oak. Readers looking for a great introduction into the wines of the estate can't go wrong here. Medium ruby, it has beautiful aromatics of raspberries, black cherries, and strawberries, loads of spice, violets, and underbrush nuances, medium to full body, good acidity, and a silky, seamless texture. It's beautifully done and well worth seeking out.
- Wine Spectator 93 Points
Capitain Gagnerot Clos Vougeot Grand Cru is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
SOILSChalky soil with fossils from the Bajocian era mixed with red clay and laves. Heavy earth containing iron.
VINIFICATION / MATURING
Harvested by hand, sorted and destemed.
Alcoholic fermentation in open vats, for about 15 days with 2 punch-down a day at the beginning.
Maturation in oak barrels (10% new barrels) for 12 to 15 months.
Colour : Deep garnet red.
Nose : Black fruits aromas (blackcurrant, blueberry).
Mouth : Strong structure and powerfull tannins. After 10 to 15 years of ageing, it turns to crystallized fruits aromas with a long finish.
Game in a sauce, Burgundy cheese (Citeaux)
Chartron et Trebuchet Hautes Mourottes Ladoix Premier Cru is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Ladoix AOC: This AOC (LADOIX) is about 75 % red and 25 % white wine from the commune of Ladoix-Serrigny (Ladoix is old French for “the source”). 11 premier Cru’s, with a production is 33,000 cases of red to 12,500 cases of Blanc. Location is very near the Grand Cru’s of Corton and Corton-Charlemagne.
Tasting Notes:The white wine here is toasty, smoky, with a complex, mineral and long lemony finish……4-6 year aging wine. Ladoix blanc is somewhat rare, and we are only importing 25 cases …
VINEYARD: Rocky and reddish limestone and enough marl to make it ideal for white wines.
Plantations: ----- vines / hectare.
Yield: -- hectoliters / hectare.
HARVEST: Harvest by hand.
VINIFICATION: Traditional vinification. The grapes are pressed immediately upon arrival at the winery in pneumatic presses. The alcoholic fermentation is carried out in oak barrels, 20% new oak. The wine is aged for 12 months in oak barrels with regular stirring to gain depth and complexity.
AGEING: The wine is aged for 12 months in oak barrels with regular stirring to gain depth and complexity.
Its freshness and finesse allow it to be enjoyed as an aperitif. It also pairs well with white meat and sauce. At the sea side, it will be perfect with a plate of shellfish (lobster, scallops) steamed or poached or noble fish just fried, grilled or steamed. Cheeses: Goat cheese, Beaufort Comté, Emmental...