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1994 Carneros Pinot Noir

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About the Vineyard...
The 1994 Ancien Pinot noir comes from 24 year old vines (Owned by Domaine Chandon) in the Carneros region of the Napa Valley. The vineyard is located on a northeastern slope in thin sandy, clay/loam soil with excellent drainage. The combination of vine age and the north eastern slope (sheltering the vines from the brisk Carneros winds) makes this a unique site. Located in southern Carneros (with a view of San Pablo bay), this is a cool site even by Carneros standards. The fruit expresses itself with intense earthy, mushroom, and sometimes meaty aromas. Dark red fruit predominates with anise, spice, and blackberry notes providing added complexity.

About the Vintage...
1994 was a classic Pinot noir vintage in Carneros. The crop set was low to moderate in the Spring with excellent uniformity. Temperatures throughout the summer were almost ideal and the harvest stretch run was cool and consistent with a slight bit of heat puntuating an almost perfect season.

About the Wine...
The grapes were 100% destemmed into an open top fermenter and punched down 3 times per day at the beginning of fermentation. This was decreased to 2 times per day by the end of fermentation. A small innoculum of "Assmannshausen" cultured yeast made for a slow start to fermentation, allowing us to "work" the fruit assuring full extraction of the fruit. once the fermentation started, it roared, peaking at 94F. The wine was gently pressed AT dryness and went directly to barrel. The wine was aged entirely in French oak from the coopers Francois Freres, Billon, and Dargaud Jaegle. 33% new oak was used. The wine was racked once prior to bottling. Wine movements were done by gravity or by pushing with inert gas in the production of this wine a l l the way until bottling. Wine analysis: Alc. 13.6%, pH 3.68, ta 6..1 g/l. , r.s. 0.01 g/l. 250 cases produced.

Tasting Notes...
Lush fruit with black cherry and Blackberry, chocolate, cola, sl. anise/spice and toasty aromas in the nose. Blackberry and dark cherry flavors follow through in the mouth, filled out by round, supple and ripe tannins. Coffee, toasted grains, and earth tones add layers and dimension to the concentrated and long palate.