2012 L'Espérance Pinot Noir
An extraordinary, extremely limited Pinot Noir release
2012 MonoClone® Horizontal
L’Espérance, Nouveau Monde, and L’Ambroisie
“Vintage of the Decade”
So much has been written about the 2012 growing season. Will the wines deliver and stack up to the expectations? True, it was ideal climatic conditions for Pinot Noir in every sense of the word. We have often said that the most compelling wines come from difficult growing seasons. These are the years where careful vineyard management and a deft touch in the cellar shine through in compelling wines which was reflected in our 2011 vintage. The temptation with a stellar vintage like 2012 is to be greedy and not manage the yield aggressively since there is an abundance of perfect clusters on the vines. Discipline and yield management is at a premium. We feel that the greatest opportunity to reap the benefit of such nature’s gift is by harvesting vineyards on multiple days and passes. This commitment gives proper time for the stems of each cluster to develop nutty and toasted aromatics that will be pressed whole to help create wines of great depth, spice and complexity.
We have been waiting for such a vintage for our MonoClone Pinot Noir. This is the reward.
In normal circumstances, we release each Pinot Noir on their own time lines at their Apex so you can experience them at their best. As we tasted the wines, it became clear that we had a rare opportunity to release the Big 3 – our most elegant, rare wines – together. This way you can truly enjoy and taste the depth and how different each vineyard and clone are from each other, yet all have the Soliste pedigree.
The exotic concentrated aromatics of the 2012 are the result of our desire to harness the purity and layers after layers of 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 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.
Le Regard / The Look
Extraordinary Ruby clarity of freshly pressed raspberries and groseilles (red currants) with deep gemlike luminosity.
Le Nez / The Nose
A clear expression of Morey St Denis/Chambolle clone (Dijon 115): Impressive concentration of ripe black cherries, raspberry liqueur aromas layered with musty sous-bois (forest floor), refined scents of rose petals, exotic spices, cardamom, peppery herbals (mint) interlaced with white pepper. As the wine evolves in the glass or decanter, the aromatics become more refined, superbly pure, and complex adding caramel and black tea must – L’Espérance 2012 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 black cherries and raspberries, an intensity that is only matched by the refined silky but peppery texture. This intense and pure fruit compote leads to silky-textured, pure and beautifully delineated minerals, wet granite, earthy truffles, black tea must, cardamom, and herbal aromatics (mint, fennel). These aromas culminate in a driving, tension –filled, and gorgeously harmonious long finish.
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. This amazing vintage reminds me of my favorite Chambolle, “Les Amoureuses.”
L’Espérance 2012: Chambolle, Les Amoureuses, the inspiration, the quest, the result!