Ancien Pinot Noir 2021, 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. Coming from the mother vines that our section of Toyon Farm is planted to in Carneros, this second vintage from Carmel Valley definitely shows the same strength and complexity this legendary River Ranch selection of Pinot Noir gives shining in both wines. Spice filled and smoothly broad on the palate, this wine greets with notes of currants and boysenberry pie. The opulence continues with secondary notes of chocolate and black tea that lead to satisfying elegant finish revealing jasmine.