Ancien Pinot Noir Mink Vineyard 2018, Coombsville, Napa Valley, California

The Mink Vineyard is located next door to the winery, in the Coombsville Viticultural Area in the southeastern corner of Napa Valley. Open to the same morning fogs and afternoon breezes that cool Carneros to the west, Coombsville is consistently one of the coolest pockets in Napa. Mink sits inside a small “bowl”, allowing cooler air to settle during the evenings, and making Mink’s mesoclimate a couple degrees cooler than the surrounding hills. But the real secret to Mink’s explosive flavors, smooth, mouth-coating minerality, comes from the soil. Underneath the top few feet of alluvial clays and cobblestones (typical throughout the southern reaches of Napa), is a layer of compressed volcanic ash, called tufa. The tufa drains the top soils, storing moisture in rich clays underneath. The vines are able, with some work, to grow roots into the tufa layer, accessing moisture during the long, dry growing season. 2016 vintage – The grapes were destemmed into small, one-ton, open-top fermenters, with traditional hand punch downs, and aged the wine in Billon cooperage, a barrel that tends to sit subtly underneath the delicate fruit, lifting aromas without crowding them. The wines were racked once, gently, prior to bottling. Grapes, must, and wines were moved using gravity through to the barrel and a gentle push with inert gas through racking and bottling. “Beautiful round blue fruit notes around which dance brighter notes of huckleberry and pomegranate. The finish is dominated with fine, chalky palate coating tannins and minerality thabalance the hedonism of the Mink fruit. While this wine is soft and welcoming now, it will in time reveal its underlying depth. Displaying the uniqueness of Coombsville, this luxuriously textural wine will excite the senses with its many complexities.” – from the Winery