2011 L'Espérance Pinot Noir
L’Espérance 2011: Memories of Morey St Denis….Power and Finesse
For us, L’Espérance Pinot Noir is always the most anticipated release. It is the one that sets the tone and embodies all of the challenges, determination, sacrifice that comes with crafting compelling Pinot Noir.
Trilogy… 2009, 2010 and now the unparalleled 2011
When we started this journey, it was with the belief, hope (espérance), and determination to craft Pinot Noirs that were not only old world in style, but had a clear DNA from selected terroirs in Sonoma Coast. Along this voyage, we discovered that each clone has her own unique personality and complex aromas from each site. In 2009 we took the leap of faith to produce our first MonoClone® Pinot Noirs. By focusing on the single clone that would be in perfect harmony with vineyard site and aging them in a single provenance of French oak barrels – the results are simply stunning and magical.
The 2011 Vintage is one for the ages, a difficult vintage, only supporting the rule that Henry Jayer said, “Good wines are made in a great vintage but Great Wines are made in a difficult one.” A very cold growing season culminated by spiking heat meant that management in the vineyard had to be rigorous, precise and selection of cluster impeccable; it also meant very little yield. We also made the decision to age the wine for 16 months in French oak to create a few more layers of complexity, a velvety texture and fruit concentration.
The 2011 vintage benefits from our experience with the two magnificent vintages of 2009 & 2010 and clearly reflects what we have come to love in L’Espérance: elegance, finesse, spiced red fruit of great depth, and bright acidity on the finish, all tightly bound into a voluptuous velvet glove, very Chambollesque. This is why we make Pinot Noir.
The exotic aromatics of the 2011 L'Espérance is the result of our desire to harness the purity and complexity of one clone from one vineyard. It has always been our most sought after release. Because of our mad commitment to produce much fewer cases in order to craft extraordinary pinots that exemplify their identity and terroir, L’Espérance has become a very rare wine, not because we intended it to be, but because of the limited amount of wine produced – just 104 cases this year. Unfortunately this means we must limit allocations and we anticipate that L’Espérance will be sold out within the next few days.
This is Chambolle Musigny in the new world, simply unique and amazing.
L’Espérance 2011: concentration, finesse, and elegance. The paradox..
2011 Soliste Pinot Noir L'Espérance, Sonoma Coast
Le Regard / The Look
Brilliant and dense Ruby purity of raspberries and groseilles (red currants) with unmatched gem clarity and luminosity.
Le Nez / The Nose
A clear expression of Morey St Denis/Chambolle clone (Dijon 115): Exotic aromatics of pure spiced red tart wild cherries, kirsh-like, bright red fruits (raspberries, pomegranate) layered with elegant sous-bois (forest floor), refined scents of exotic cardamom, anis, peppery herbals (mint) interlaced with earthy undertones. As the wine evolves in the glass or decanter, the aromatics become more voluptuous with high tone aromatics, superbly pure, and complex adding vanilla, truffles and black tea must – L’Espérance 2011 is concentration and elegance, a stunning paradox.
Degustation / The Taste
The palate carries on the theme, attacking with precise and harmonious layers of spiced caramelized raspberries and tart wild red cherries, an intensity that is only matched by the refined silky texture. The elegant, velvety raspberry and griottine compote carries on with exotic layers of tart groseille, cranberry and pomegranate interlaced with fatty vanilla bean and exotic spices. A fine layer of earthy truffles, black tea must, cardamom, anis, and herbal aromatics (mint) are interlaced with the finest tannins and fresh crystalline acidity, all adding to an incredible length and complexity. Though delicate and refined, the paradoxical concentration and intensity of L’Espérance embodies our philosophy: Focus on a single clone gave birth to this absolutely stunning Pinot Noir. Powerful, yet refined, what a pinot noir should be and rarely is.
12.8% alc. 104 cases