2018 Narcisse Pinot Noir
As followers of the Soliste philosophy are aware, in 2009 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: MonoClone® our amazing L’Espérance, Sonatera, L’Ambroisie, Nouveau Monde and Forêt.
From this disciplined approach, we realized we had a unique and rare opportunity to create a Single Cuvee from the other great barrels from each of our vineyards. We blended the best barrels together and aged to harmonize the once separated wines to craft Narcisse Pinot Noir -- an exceptional wine of great depth, fruit concentration, and elegance, a pure representation of Soliste wines.
2018 was (finally) a more typical vintage in Sonoma Coast. Following a cool, wet winter, budbreak and set were unexceptional, and the growing season was generally temperate. The grapes were handpicked after midnight with rigorous field selection and winery hand sorting. The grapes were gently destemmed and 10% whole cluster was reserved for spice, tannin, and structure. Following a brief cold soak and gentle ferment, we aged Narcisse in 100% French Oak barrels (31% new) for 16 Months.
Narcisse 2018, a tour de force.
Le Regard / The Look
Scintillating ruby transparency and purity, with brilliant pomegranate hues.
Le Nez / The Nose
The earthy aromatic bouquet emanates from the glass in voluptuous scents of caramelized red cherries and raspberries, peppery plums, black tea must, fennel tops, and graphite. After 30 minutes in the decanter, the nose becomes wider with exotic spices and dried Mediterranean herbs, wet mushrooms, and alpine river rocks completing a magnificent red fruit infusion.
Degustation / The Taste
The first taste is precise, linear, and focused; an elegant yet concentrated mouthful of raspberry, and red cherry compote spiked with exotic spices, Kirsch, and earthy underground. This is a wine of great elegance the like of the great Bonne Mares, with a sensual mid-palate texture. Typical of Soliste wines, it exemplifies the Burgundian Paradox. As the wine opens up in the glass, the red fruit; wild strawberry, raspberry and blueberry compote become condensed and compressed to a refined yet unsweetened ambrosia which is deeply layered with dried maple leaves, umami, graphite, and alpine herbal notes which hit every corner of the palate. This uniquely chiseled wine is impeccable, not to mention stunning in its beauty and textural elegance, the Burgundian Paradox. It is a model of extreme purity and grace, the fruit is impossibly pure, perfumed, and resonant. As the wine keeps evolving, the silky peppery texture with saline and savory spikes elevates the wine to a vibrant, sensual, and long finish highlighted by black tea must, blood orange peel, and dried sage.