2016 L'Espérance Pinot Noir
L’Enfant Prodigue of Soliste
In 2005, we made our first Pinot Noir from the family vineyard (only 143 cases produced, that’s it!) located in a unique site that we believed would grant us the ability to craft wines with a style that would satisfy our infatuation for the great Burgundies that we love. In 2006, L’Espérance was born out of this vineyard focusing on a clone that would reflect a wine of great aromatics and purity. In 2009, from the same site, we challenged ourselves to make L’Espérance from that single vineyard, a single clone, and allocate a single cooperage barrel house in France to deliver uncompromised focus to the 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!
2016 started late with a cool spring with an unremarkable (finally!) growing season. As we introduce this vintage 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 is what we’ve been waiting for.”
2016 L’Espérance MonoClone Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
Le Regard / The Look
Vibrant robe of morello cherries, with Carnelian gemlike clarity and depth.
Le Nez / The Nose
The nose is very expressive with high tones of red fruit bramble, dried maple leaves, black tea, violets, and cedarwood. As the wine opens up, the bouquet becomes more floral with pomegranate and blueberry infusion, wet stone, and dried rose petals. Very pure and exotic.
Degustation / The Taste
On the front palate, the wine is pure and sappy at the core. This is an extremely linear wine, very expressive and dense. The middle palate delivers precise layers of tart cherries, pomegranate, and cranberry, accented by a high floral pitch and earthy umami. The elegant fruit concentration is elevated with layers of cocoa nibs, tea must, burnt orange peel, saline, and graphite. This is a wine of great energy and verve. The refined tannins have an outstanding focus and grip on the very long, youthfully complex, and vibrant finish. This is a wine of pure elegance and depth, a fond memory of our times with the great Francois Bertheaux in Chambolle.
L’ESPÉRANCE 2016…Chambolle Les Amoureuses in Sonoma Coast