Named for the Pinot Noir grape as a reference to its capricious and somewhat demanding disposition. Le Caprice embodies the challenge of growing this varietal well, and the ethereal and glorious elements that we strive to capture. This wine is made from grapes grown in the steepest of our Sonoma Coast vineyards, with a slightly eastern aspect and a resulting decrease in the cool maritime influences. Le Caprice is the most fruit-forward of our three estate Pinot Noirs
The 2017 growing season began with abundant rainfall, ending California’s long drought. Spring weather was cool, but dry, resulting in an extended blooming period. The vines were vigorous thanks to the winter rains. Aggressive canopy management and fruit thinning brought the crop into optimal balance. Warmer than normal conditions after veraison accelerated ripening and required careful irrigation to mitigate dehydration. A return of cooler conditions allowed our Pinot Noir to slowly reach perfect ripeness. Picking was gradual and methodical, yielding a slightly larger than normal harvest. The vintage produced rich, forward Pinot Noirs that will show well young, but possess the structure to age.
The name ‘Le Caprice,’ as in capricious, is an ode to the fickle nature of the Pinot Noir grape. Situated between 1,025 and 1,450 feet above sea level on steep mountain slopes, some exceeding fifty percent in grade, the vineyard faces East and North-East. It benefits from both the cooling influence of the Pacific Ocean and the mild sunny mountain climate. The soil of the vineyard is a composite of clay, silt and volcanic gravels, which help the wine display polished tannins, body and a hint of graphite-minerality. Le Caprice is the fruitiest of our trio of estate Pinot Noir vineyards.
WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES
To the eye, the 2017 Le Caprice offers a red ruby color with bright crimson highlights. The wine shows intense aromas of raspberry liqueur, red cherry and blackberry mixed with Russian leather, violet and graphite. The palate is expressive and delivers Griotte cherry, sandalwood, raspberry, wild strawberry, forest floor, hazelnut, and leather, with a background of raspberry liqueur. The texture is fresh, round, and mineral driven. The wine is already expressive and will continue to develop for at least a decade.
Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma County
September 8 - 28, 2017
100% naturally fermented using native yeast
Aged 16 months in 50% new French oak barrels from select artisan coopers
Bottled unfined and unfiltered
February 13, 2019
April 1, 2019