2012 Les Griottes Pinot Noir
Les Griottes comes from a secluded Pinot Noir vineyard located in the Sonoma Coast appellation near Occidental. The site has a northeastern exposure, a gentle slope and is in the middle of a spectacular redwood forest. Just 6 miles from the Pacific Ocean on the western coastal range, this cool vineyard is meticulously tended and sustainably farmed.
Beginning with the 2009 vintage we made the decision to return to the roots of Burgundy and the craftsmanship of the Cistercian monks of Vougeot to focus on single clones from single vineyards and matured in single cooperage. Our limited production MonoClone pinot noirs reflect our commitment to harnessing the purity and complexity of one clone from one vineyard, matured in one cooperage.
The 2012 growing season climatic conditions for Pinot Noir were ideal in every sense of the word. Despite such a stellar vintage we managed the yield aggressively and harvested the vineyard on multiple days and passes. This commitment gives time for the stems of each cluster to develop nutty and toasted aromatics. We harvested at first light and field sorted. 12% reserved for whole cluster fermentation, the balance was gently destemmed. Following a brief cold soak, smooth fermentation of small lots with ritual manual punch downs was complete before barreling and aging.
This exceptional vintage captures all the Alchemy that becomes Great Pinot Noir, the intoxicating nose, powerful yet refined with layers of spice, sous-bois, truffles and wild cherry, amazing length and complex finish (if there is one). Magical!!!
Le Regard / The Look
Mysterious depth and luminosity showing density and structure, dark and deep boysenberry gemlike in the glass, a clear reflection of tannin purity.
Le Nez / The Nose
On the nose, intoxicating Exotic aromas of bitter caramelized wild cherries, violets, and earthiness interlaced with truffles, black tea, and refined scents of sous-bois (forest floor). As the wine evolves in the glass or decanter, the aromatics become more dense and voluptuous with dark cherry compote aromatics, superbly elegant and powerful, adding bitter chocolate and black truffles.
Degustation / The Taste
The palate delivers an extraordinary silky texture with layers of exotic spice and black tea. This is a wine of great depth, grip, and verve, with bitter caramel, dark wild cherries, and spiced plums, spiked with black pepper, cocoa nibs, and cardamom. The mid-palate is definitely earthy (oh, Vosne Romanée here you come, the pedigree shows its Origins) laced of musty sous-bois, black tea, anise, and dry herbal aromatics, all in superb balance and harmony. Positively refined in texture but palpably dense in tannic concentration, the finish is simply infinite.