2016 Pinot Noir Larmes de Grappe
Amazing, Unbelievable, Mind-boggling and even “the best ever” were a few of the descriptions of the 2016 Pinot Noir harvest in Santa Barbara County. The crop was balanced and the weather was perfect to slowly ripen Pinot Noir. All the grapes we hand harvested and fermented in open top tanks, and punched down twice a day by hand. All of these procedures are time consuming but necessary for making Pinot Noir with balance. The gentle extraction of hand punch downs yields rich, ripe tannins, which balance nicely with the fruit and oak.
After pressing and short settling of only the heavy lees the wine was aged for 18 months in 100% new Francois Frères French Oak barrels. We fined lightly using egg whites to remove some of the excessive tannin. We bottled without filtration.
All the Pinot Noir from 2016 was high quality, we didn’t want to blend away all the unique personality of the various vineyards. We made a couple of “once in a lifetime” blends. One of these was a selection from Sanford and Benedict Vineyard. This selections was named “Larmes de Grappe”, this translates as “tears of the cluster” we use his designation for the best Pinots made with whole cluster. We made only two other Larmes and those were from the epic 2001 & 2005 vintages.