2017 Chateau St. Jean Grace Benoist Ranch Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
September 4th 2017
100% French Oak (44% new) for 17 months
Distinctive in every vintage, aromas of rose hips, black tea and savory dried herbs give way to flavors laced with minerality, Luxardo cherries, cola, sweet dark red fruits led by black cherry, with notes of blackberry bramble, cloves and cinnamon spice.
The Benoist Ranch is tucked away in the far Northwest corner of the Carneros, within the Southwest area of the Sonoma Coast appellation. Unlike most of this region, which is largely uplifted bay bottoms with soils composed of clay, the vineyard parcels at Benoist Ranch conform to various soil types and the changing contours of the Ranch topography. Individual vineyards within the Ranch average only eight acres in size and spacing is dense to ensure low per vine yields of fully concentrated fruit.
Fruit from three distinct blocks with varying clones were selected for this vintage, with 70% from Block 2F1 (828), 20% from Block 4D2 (114) and the balance, featuring clone 13, from Block 4D3. Fruit was harvested during cool evening and morning hours.
In this unique micro-climate, cool weather during spring flowering impacted vine yields, but with lower yields quality generally increases, and that is the tale of this vintage. Ample winter rains continued to recharge aquifers and rebuild storage lost due to drought.
100% Pinot Noir