2017 Pinot Noir "Larmes de Grappe"
Our Larmes de Grappe (tears of the grape) wines are something special. It doesn’t happen every vintage. In fact, there are only two other vintages that have been made. We use our best grapes with our best barrels to make a few cases of this Pinot Noir. The grapes are from the old vine Pinot Noir from Sanford and Benedict Vineyard planted in the 70s. We wait to pick until the stems have lignified and then ferment whole cluster without any destemming. After a carefully monitored fermentation, the wine is aged in custom-made François Frères 350-liter barrels, the best size for aging wine for two years sur-lee. The wine is gently racked and fined prior to bottling without filtration. After two years of bottle age, the wine is finally ready to release. Delicious upon release, the wine will evolve and develop for twenty years. Save until 2037!
The 2017 of Larmes is loaded with ripe black cherry, currants and gamey forest floor notes. With a slight note of reduction, this Larmes is less fruity than the other Larmes (2005, 2016) but it sure has a lot goin’ on. The list of descriptors is endless, but here are a few: wild brush, cocoa, coffee, lavender, liquorice, leather, and even green tea, with many more to be unveiled over time. Salmon is a great match for Pinot Noir and grilled salmon would be a perfect match for the 2017 Larmes.
Score: 94 The 2017 Pinot Noir Larmes de Grappe Sanford & Benedict Vineyard is for those who crave stems and wildness in their Pinots. Lots or ripe darker cherry and currant fruits as well as brambly herbs, earth, leather, and foresty notes define the bouquet, and it's medium-bodied, with a beautifully textured, seamless mouthfeel, bright acidity, and a clean finish. It's incredibly Burgundian in that it shines more for its complexity and nuance than richness and texture. It should drink beautifully for 10-15 years.
Antonio Galloni's Vinous
Score: 92 Supple and racy in the glass, with terrific depth and fine balance, the 2017 Pinot Noir Larmes de Grappe Sanford & Benedict Vineyard has quite a bit to offer. Red cherry, plum, rose petal, mint and blood orange. Perfumed floral and savory notes emerge from beneath the fruit with a bit of time. The 2017 has a lot to offer in the style of the Pinots at Au Bon Climat in this vintage.