This first limited Pinnacle series bottling of Pinot Noir is from our Estate vineyard 700 feet above sea level and 14 miles from the ocean in Carmel Valley. The grapes that come from this vineyard are generally of small size and are much darker and richer than most Pinot Noir fruit, and we attribute this to soil, clonal selections, and climate. The soil is known locally as “chalk rock” which is a mineral-rich shale. This soil reluctantly surrenders its nutrients, making the vines struggle, thus producing a flavorful, interesting wine. This vineyard is managed sustainably in the Carmel River watershed and is located only a few hundred feet from the lower Carmel Valley AVA.
Starting with this vintage, I am now tasting a distinctive character in this wine from year-to-year. This was the twelfth leaf of this vineyard and the 9th crop it had produced. The soil and site were challenging to the vines as it is dry, rocky and hilly but perhaps they have finally established themselves to a point of distinctive expression, which is a very exciting development in the life of this vineyard. Enjoy!