2013 Pinot Noir Knox Alexander
"The 2013 Pinot Noir Knox Alexander is bright, focused and beautifully delineated. A wine of precision and focus, the 2013 exudes energy from start to finish. The Knox Alexander emerges from Bien Nacido's north-facing, hillside Block 11. A touch of whole clusters adds aromatic nuance, while the oak, mostly new, is deftly balanced. The 2013 is striking. It's as simple as that. " - Vinous
Named after Jim Clendenen’s son Knox, this wine is from the finest lots of Pinot Noir from the estate Le Bon Climat and Bien Nacido Vineyard since 1998. These two vineyards, separated only by the Sisquoc River, have slow growing vines planted in well drained poor soils, which produce really distinctive Pinot Noir. Both vineyards struggle to yield much most years, but the small amount that is harvested is of amazing quality.
Vineyards: Knox is a blend of our two “estate” vineyards, Bien Nacido and Le Bon Climat. Both vineyards are in the Santa Maria Valley, with Le Bon Climat being located on the southern edge of this appellation. Le Bon Climat was planted in 1998 with low vigor rootstock in some well drained poor soil. This combination of low vigor plants and poor soil limit the crop size and slow ripening. The two blocks selected to be used in Knox are Block 2 and Block 11. Block 2 was planted in 1994 with a wide mix of clones, which are 103, 113, 114, 115, 2A, Mt. Eden along with some Pinot Meunier. Block 2 has a south/west exposure which is good for morning sun though many mornings during the growing season the sun is blocked by our Santa Maria fog. Our other premium block of Pinot Noir at Bien Nacido is Block 11 which is planted with clones 667, 777, 115, 2A, Swan and Jackson in 1997. Block 11 is a steep, hillside block with north/west exposure.
Wine: The 2013 Knox saw 22 months in French oak barrels. We fined this wine with three egg whites per barrel to remove some of the tougher tannins. The clarity and color of the wine are beautiful. Aromas of Bing cherry, ripe apple and dark chocolate are apparent with an intriguing scent of underbrush buried deeper in the wine. Flavors constantly evolve starting with raspberries and moving to dark cocoa. In the background is French oak vanillin and balanced tannins.