2017 Heller Pinot Noir

2017 Heller Pinot Noir

Light ruby in color.  Strawberry & watermelon with hints of mint, vanilla and dried mushrooms in the nose. Bright cherry candy, cream soda, toasted oak, lavender on the palate.  Pretty acidity and varietal subtleties of elegance in this old-school throwback to Pinot Noir of days gone by. Drink now or keep it in the cellar until 2024 as this has the acidity to age well and blossom even more.

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SKU: 17HellerPinotNoir
Wine Specs
Pinot Noir
Carmel Valley
Vineyard Designation
Heller Vineyard
Bottling Date
August 10, 2018
Alcohol %
Winemaker Notes
I admit I’m partial to old vines and maybe that comes from a bit of nostalgia for how I remember Pinot Noir used to taste in days gone by -- for me now so much Pinot is all about color and boldness and bypasses entirely the subtleties of the varietal. It’s also an appreciation for plants that have survived and even thrived for multiple decades, pushing their roots further and further down into the soil to discover and then take up the minerals and elements that have remained undisturbed for millennia. It is undeniable that grapes from old vines express their character in nuance and grace, in whispers and hints of nature’s wisdom and generosity. I have a hard time resisting that call.
Vineyard Notes
In 2017 I had the opportunity to purchase fruit from this historic vineyard. I did not intend to source Pinot Noir but the old vines (planted on their own roots in the mid-1970’s) offered some interesting flavors & nice acidity so I chose to bring a few tons into the winery. This vineyard has been farmed organically since those early days. It’s a beautiful piece of property with southern exposure and the soil is sandy loam/river rock and is irrigated with spring water. This is a Beaujolais clone of Pinot Noir and was one of only a few clones that were grown back in the early days of the West Coast wine industry. It has an upright growing habit (most Pinot Noir canes are inclined to drape over the trellis wires and require support) which made folks believe that it was actually Gamay Beaujolais until proven that it was actually Pinot Noir (thus the “Beaujolais name).
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