2014 Carneros Napa Valley Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir •Ceja Vineyard
California: Napa Valley: Carneros
This is the way.
Our creed, our mission, the reason we’ve been doing this for 10+ years is singularly focused on finding the good stuff. We kissed a LOT of frogs last year (check out this TikTok video we made and you’ll understand how many corks we amassed…).
But this. This Pinot sent us reeling like we just licked a Sonoran Desert toad. Which is to say, nothing but good vibes and a pleasurable experience ensued.
The first thing you’ll notice is the crystalline garnet color, concentrating to a deeper ruby core in the center. Aromas of dusty cherries, red and black, greet you in abundance, with earthy and spicy undertones hanging around back. The real fun starts when you taste it - the polished, supima soft mouthfeel guided by silky fine tannins. The bright fruit. This is impressively long, and one can’t help but start drawing parallels with a Pommard from a ripe vintage. It is ready to enjoy with any roast poultry, fancied up with black or white truffles, citrus, herbs, and root vegetables.
You probably don’t know Santori. We didn’t. It’s a super small project launched by John Santori. His family had a long history of winemaking in Tuscany, so when he graduated from Berkeley in 1970, he decided to carry on the tradition. One barrel turned into three, turned into six. His wines started winning local competitions and he decided to focus more intently on leveling up the quality. To that end, he brought on Leo Martinez, winemaker for Benessere Vineyards of St. Helena.
Leo worked with some of the best winemakers out there, but he was most influenced by Heidi Barrett, which SHOWS in the is pure, gorgeously balanced, classically ethereal Pinot. 100% from the Ceja Vineyard too, a missed opportunity that it does not wear this badge of honor on its label if you ask us, which borders Etude Winery in the bucolic windswept rolling hills of the Napa side of Los Carneros.
Excavated from the winery library, with a massive 44% break, the $25 you are paying includes all the dusting we had to do off these boxes that were just sitting there ‘behind the door’ waiting.
In a land where other similarly fashioned Pinots fetch $50-75+, you’ll be among the lucky few who share in this discovery. It seriously over-delivers from the same terroir.
Not much of this one, so if you’re still reading, make haste!
A crystalline garnet rim gradually concentrates in the deeper ruby core that is borderline opaque
Dusty cherries, red and black, dominate the redolent perfume, with earthy and spicy undertones
The mouthfeel, thanks to the bottle age, is sublime, with silky fine tannins accentuating bright fruit
Impressively long, one can’t help but start drawing parallels with a Pommard from a ripe vintage
Enjoy with roast poultry, fancied up with black or white truffles, citrus, herbs, and root vegetables
What the Winery Says
- Leonardo Martinez
- 100% Pinot Noir
- Los Carneros, Napa Valley
- Ceja Vineyard
- 50% Dijon, 50% Pommard
- Total acidity
- 6.1 g/L
- Brix at harvest
- Harvest date
- September 17, 2014
- 18 months
- 25% new French oak
- 8 barrels