2015 Renaissance Pinot Noir
2016 Renaissance MonoClone® Pinot Noir
Styled after the great Burgundian classicism of yore.
The western cousin of Vosnes Romanee Aux Malconsorts 2008
Where it All Began
Our fascination with the great red Burgundies comes from the singular aromatics and complexities that are born in unique vineyards but a few kilometers apart. It is why we undertook the challenge and risk to focus on each specific clone of Pinot Noir that is best in harmony with each vineyard site – our Single Vineyard, Single Clone, and Single Cooperage wines – MonoClone®.
We talk about the legendary Burgundies because they are the benchmarks and what inspires and drives our madness. Our dream was simply to be in the conversation one day. As we introduce 2015 Renaissance to you, our years of effort are clearly showing up in the glass where it counts. Claude says, “It’s our most Burgundian of vintages,” to which Don noted, “Wait, didn’t you say that already?” His typically Gallic response, “No Don – Pay Attention! I talked about how the 2014’s evolved over an hour like a great Burgundy. This vintage has it all – concentration, aromatics, earthiness and acid – this what we’ve been waiting for.” (can’t you see why this is such a fun adventure?)
Renaissance comes from one of those unique vineyard sites that truly exemplifies the Soliste philosophy and style. The hilltop vineyard has three different exposures, facing north, south, and west. This geography funnels brisk marine winds over the vines reducing vigor, extending the ripening period of the grapes, and allowing distinctive aromatics to develop. Once you have tasted Renaissance Pinot Noir, you will always be able to identify its origins.
These wines exemplify the Soliste style and its paradox: Elegant yet intense; focused and complex, powerful and refined. These pinots are each born from the same family but raised as distinct cousins of their own character and personality. Vive la Différence!
We embraced the opportunity and felt that from our original vineyard, we would identify a few rows that would allow us to craft a deeper wine without losing what makes Soliste: Elegance.
2015 RENAISSANCE MonoClone Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
Le Regard / The Look
Vibrant crimson & amethyst gemlike in the glass, scintillating tannins in suspension showing structure, chewiness, and concentration.
Le Nez / The Nose
The nose is pure old-world Burgundy; highly mineral, dried raspberries, and red tart cherries interlaced with high herbal tones of fennel tops, eucalyptus, graphite, and peppery mint. As the wine evolves in the glass or decanter, the aromatics become more focused and earthy. An abundance of red fruit compote jumps out of the glass, perfectly layered with dried maple leaves, violets, sous-bois (forest floor), umami, cedar, cardamom, and star anise. A supremely well-defined bouquet.
Degustation / The Taste
The front palate reminds me of older Burgundies by the masters like De Montille, Lignier, Rousseau; wines that were meant to lay down for a while unlike the ready to drink, over-extracted, overly ripe, high alcohol modern versions that can never deliver the complexity and elegance of such Pinots. It is best to open the wine for at least 30 minutes to be able to appreciate all of the nuances Renaissance possesses. This is an extremely compressed layered wine, with an elegant mouthful of peppery raspberries and tart griottines (wild cherries) lifted with exotic herbal tones of fennel, nutmeg, black tea must, ginger and graphite. The mid-palate is highly structured, very old world, with an amazing spicy grip, a clear element of the whole cluster press, followed by pure peppery boysenberry and red cherry compote, earthiness, dried mushrooms, rose petals, wood barrel spice, creating a wine of impressive depth. The wine definitely gains intensity with aeration; The palate is well balanced with fine tannins, an impressive depth of red and black fruits, crushed stone, wet limestone, exotic spices, black pepper, and alpine forest tones. The intense bright finish lingers and lingers in the mouth with complex soft spice aromatics from our extended barrel time, creating a wine of great verve, silky texture, and exotic complexity. I actually re-tasted the same bottle the next day and it was magnificent after being opened overnight. This beauty should also reward extended cellaring.
The 2015 Renaissance is very reminiscent of old-world Burgundies, like the wines of legendary Hubert de Montille who crafted hard-assed wines; he did not care what Robert Parker or anyone else said, commitment to traditional methods that included a fair bit of tannin extraction, instead of jammy sugary concentration. Let’s drink to that!!!!
|13.5% alc. 47 cases produced||By Limited Allocation 750ml $85|