2016 L'Espérance Pinot Noir
Introducing the Magnificent 2014 Vintage
A Definitive Release of Compelling MonoClone® Pinot Noirs
In 2005 we made our first Pinot Noir from the family vineyard (only 143 cases produced, that’s it!); Located in a unique site we believed would enable us to craft wines with a style that might satisfy our infatuation for the great Burgundies that we love. In 2009, from the same site, we challenged ourselves to make our Pinot Noirs from single vineyard, single clone, and allocate a single cooperage (barrel maker) from France to deliver uncompromised focus to each wine. The MonoClone® was born and we registered the trademark to protect our beliefs.
Having said that, we did not become stubborn about the MonoClone or infatuated by the idea, the wines had to deliver. If they did not, we would have gone back to blending the clones. Our MonoClone focus has produced compelling wines, and so here we are, almost a decade later enjoying unique, compelling wines – all so different but sharing the same commitment to elegance, length, and complexity. Vive la différence!
2014 had a moderate winter resulting in an earlier start to the vintage. We enjoyed a cool spring and a good fruit set. Overall it was a temperate, gentle growing season that helped to nurture complexity, length, and concentration along with quality and consistency both in and among our vineyards. While the persistent drought was concerning in some areas, our cool, coastal sites remained unaffected – in fact L’Ambroise’s vineyard has and remains dry farmed – no irrigation.
We selected these three specific MonoClone Pinot Noirs side by side, because they illustrate best our quest for crafting wines of great range and personality. All born and raised under the same roof, but they could not be more different; as siblings they complement each other. This is why we make Pinot!
2014 L’ESPÉRANCE Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
Le Regard / The Look
L’Espérance 2014 has a deep and vibrant robe of black cherries and quetches (wild purple plums) with deep amethyst gemlike clarity and luminosity.
Le Nez / The Nose
The nose is opulent and layered with expressive and highly nuanced aromas. Exotic notes of pure black wild cherries and cassis, layered with violets and jasmine blossoms. As the wine opens up, the bouquet soars from the glass in a very uncharacteristically (for such a young wine) expressive blend of red and black cherries, cocoa, venison, and complex layers of wet soil, orange peel, and floral top notes.
Degustation / The Taste
On the front palate, the wine is deep, meaty, full bodied, pure and sappy at the core with ripe tannins. This is a stellar wine, very expressive and complex. The middle palate delivers an exotic and voluptuous concoction of peppery cassis, black cherry compote, and blackberries, all encased in a velvet glove. The remarkable fruit concentration is elevated with layers of cocoa nibs, roasted coffee grounds, burnt orange peel, coriander, and graphite. The micro tannins bring the wine to full harmony by elevating the rich fruit with tartness and spice. The finish is opulent and very, very long, at once creamy and structured for aging. The length of this wine promises the full potential for years to come, characterized by the long sweet fruit and mineral tannin structure.