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Ancien Wines

2018 Russian River Jouissance Pinot Noir

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Gilbert Perez’s two acre vineyard in the southwestern corner of the appellation, only nominally protected by the coastal hills and open to the maritime influence of the Pacific Ocean, is the single source for these grapes. The soils here are sandy loam and very well drained, typical for the Russian River Valley.

We enjoyed consistent weather in 2018, with plenty of rain at the beginning of the year leading into a later start to the growing season, endowing us with an even and plentiful fruit set. This generally dry and cooler vintage free of heat spikes allowed for the grapes to enjoy extensive hang time on the vine, gradually developing excellent flavor and acidity without a single hint of overripeness. Not only was the vintage superb in quality, it gave us an abundance of plump grapes. Juicy and complex, the wines of this vintage are delicious to enjoy in their youth while their acidity and structure promise greatness for long-term cellaring.

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Region

Russian River Valley, Napa Valley, CA

Varietals

Pinot Noir

Notes of strawberry and tart pie cherry are accompanied by notes of sweet vanillin, toasted hazelnut and coffee as an introduction to this joyfully juicy blend of rich fruit and earthy spice. The wine opens to a well integrated mid-palate of dark berries, toffee and cassis. The broad palate is elevated and brightened with a mouthwatering acidity that welcomes this wine to the table. Sassafras, herbal notes and baking spices are revealed in the satisfying finish.

More about the wine

We fermented in our one ton, open-top tanks, layering the bottom 25% of each tank with whole clusters of fruit, adding structure and spice notes to the back palate and balancing the otherwise plush fruit of Gilbert’s Vineyard. A warm fermentation with a combination of native and isolated Burgundian yeasts produced excellent and focused flavor extraction, complemented with traditional punch-downs by hand. The wine was aged entirely in Francois Freres cooperage, half new, and racked once, gently, prior to bottling. Grapes, must, and wines were moved using gravity through to the barrel and using inert gas through racking and bottling. 308 cases produced.

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