Ancien Pinot Noir 2017, River Ranch, Carmel Valley, California

Sourced from Ed and Camille Penhoet’s Carmel Valley property, the River Ranch vines were planted in 1982. Of particular interest, the cuttings were originally sourced from a prestigious vineyard in Burgundy in the ’70s and subsequently brought in to California. This is the Mother block for the more recent planting at the Toyon Farm, which forms our designate from that vineyard. It is a sandy soiled site with geology tracing to the meanderings of the Carmel River as well as its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. In typical fashion at Ancien, the grapes are gravity fed to one-ton open top tanks where the punch-downs were done by hand. Coupled with the warm fermentation, the generous extraction emphasizes the texture and racy spice inherent in the terroir of this vineyard. Aging for 11 months in barrel with a single racking carried this wine gently to the bottle. 3 barrels produced. This inaugural vintage of Pinot Noir from River Ranch displays a veritable spice rack of notes will enthrall your senses. The wine opens to particularly unctuous mid-palate of orange-spiced tea, cherry pie, plum and cassis. The palate is broad and generously continues to reveal more surprises – fresh herbal notes and hints of red licorice reverberate in the lovely chalky finish.