The fruit comes from the Bien Nacido Vineyard and Le Bon Climat Vineyard, both in the Santa Maria Valley. The wine shows off complex aromatics and layered flavors of cranberry, red berries, rose petals, and spice, signature characteristics of this wine growing region.
As with all out Pinot Noirs, we are "hands-on". Every Pinot Noir is fermented in 5 ton open-top fermenters, which are punched down once or twice daily. These punch downs breakup the cap of skins that rises to the surface into the juice so the fermentation process extracts the best part of the Pinot grapes. The wine is pressed to complete dryness and goes to barrel with moderate lees. Our “La Bauge” Pinot Noir is aged in 50% new French oak barrels made by cooper François Frères in the heart of Burgundy in the small village of St. Romain. The wine was carefully racked in the spring and then aged another 20 months (24 months total). It was lightly fined with 4 egg whites per barrel, and then bottled unfiltered. A wonderful accompaniment to thick, oak-grilled pork chops, wild game, or Coq au Vin.
Score: 92 "Rusty and gamey aromas of blood meet with light cranberry and charred wood nose of this bottling by Jim Clendenen and team. The body is light yet carries immense waves of flavors, including sarsaparilla, pomegranate and smoke."