For more than 100 years, Beaulieu Vineyard has been setting the standard for rich, classic Napa Valley wines. Our legacy honors the marriage between state-of-the-art technology and gentle, traditional winemaking methods, a combination that enhances the expression of our remarkable vineyard terroir. From Calistoga in the north to Carneros in the south, our Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Valley wines reflect this region's diverse terroir with classic varietal character.
The 2016 Carneros Pinot Noir has a vibrant ruby color and bright red berry-fruit expression. Aromas of ripe Bing cherry, fresh raspberry and strawberry lead to delicate nuances of sweet baking spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. On the palate, the fruit is darker and more savory with black cherry compote, charred strawberry, sun-warmed rose petal, tea leaf and a savory umami herbaceousness. High-toned notes of sweet baking spices from the French oak barrels weave through the aromas and linger on the berry-imbued finish. Supple, fine-grained silky tannins structure the wine, while natural acidity gives it elegance, balance and vibrancy and all of this is backed up by a classic Carneros earthiness.
The extended drought was beginning to cause real concern as the 2016 growing season kicked off, but some welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come. After a relatively dry January we enjoyed significant rainfall in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, right around Labor Day, and continued at a leisurely pace, allowing the grapes to reach full flavor maturity. A traditionally sized harvest followed the lighter showing of 2015, and the extended mild season helped to balance the acids and add complexity to the layers of flavors. Considered a perfect harvest and a winemaker’s dream vintage, conditions were perfect for producing a Pinot Noir with beautiful fruit and aromatic integrity.
We sourced the Pinot Noir grapes from our Beaulieu Vineyard Ranches No. 9, 8 and 5 in the Los Carneros American Viticultural Area (AVA). Here, at the southernmost tip of Napa Valley near the San Francisco Bay, the cool, marine fog in the morning and winds in the afternoon foster vibrantly fruity Pinot Noir. The vines of our estate vineyards are rooted in Haire and Diablo clay loam soils; they are grafted to a blend of Dijon clones for tiers of flavors, with a Pommard clone for structure.
At night, under lights, all of the grapes were hand harvested into bins to preserve their freshness and acidity. After being hand sorted, the grapes were gently destemmed and then cold soaked for gentle color and flavor extraction, before being fermented in stainless-steel tanks and French oak vats. Malolactic fermentation and aging in French oak barrels rounded the wine's acidity and married the fruit expression with toasty oak spice.
Jeffrey Stambor joined the Beaulieu Vineyard winemaking team in 1989 as a viticulturist/enologist. As the current director of winemaking, he leads production of the winery’s world-renowned Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon, and presided over the harvest and vinification of 2013 Rarity – the extremely limited release Cabernet Sauvignon blend. He is only the fourth director of winemaking in Beaulieu Vineyard’s history, and the third to craft Georges de Latour Private Reserve over the 77-year history of that iconic wine following Andre Tchelistcheff, the original winemaker, and his immediate predecessor, Joel Aiken.
|Oak Treatment||Aged 10 months in French oak (30% new)|
|Blend||100% Pinot Noir|