2014 Etude "Grace Benoist Ranch" Carneros Pinot Noir

SKU #1264794 94 points Jeb Dunnuck

 Similarly colored, the 2014 Pinot Noir Grace Benoist Ranch Heirloom is gorgeous stuff from the Carneros appellation. This deep, rich Pinot Noir boasts tons of currants, smoked earth, dried herbs and floral notes, with more forest floor and autumn leaves notes coming through with time in the glass. Concentrated, layered, and elegant, with fine tannin, it’s a classic, age-worthy Pinot Noir that will be better in another 2-3 years and keep for a decade.  (12/2017)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2014 Pinot Noir Grace Benoist Ranch Estate comes from different clonal materials, was aged 12 months, and is a pleasant, consumer-friendly style of Pinot Noir with red and blackcurrants, apple skin, earth and underbrush. It builds up incrementally in the mouth and has a nice long finish. Drink it over the next 4-5 years. Etude has always made a bevy of delicious wines, with their Cabernet Sauvignons their highest rated and most promising. Etude makes a bunch of Pinot Noirs, and I went through them, from different areas I generally don’t cover. Their 1,500-acre ranch, which is the origin for a number of their Pinot Noirs, is the Grace Benoist Ranch in Carneros. That’s where the Chardonnays came from as well. (RP)  (12/2016)

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Price: $39.99
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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
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- Just across the Golden Gate from San Francisco, Carneros is kept cool by Bay breezes and thick fog, and has long been famous for cool-climate pinot noir, chardonnay and sparkling wine based on the two varietals. Warmer pockets have proved interesting and promising homes for syrah, cabernet and merlot.