Pinot Noir, 2015. Monticello Vineyards

Pinot Noir, 2015. Monticello Vineyards

Item #: N0819R1DC
Vintage: 2015
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Vineyard/Appellation: Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California
Color: Medium Crimson
Nose: Cherry, Strawberry
Palate: Berry, Mint, Creamy Vanilla
Finish: Very Long, Very Elegant
Rating: 98
Cellaring/Serving Suggestions: Now through 2027/Red Meat, Game, Fowl/14.3% Alcohol by Volume

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Jay Corely came to the Napa Valley 50 years ago. He purchased 80 acres in the Oak Knoll district and planted Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. These were some of the first plantings of those grapes in Napa.

He sold his grapes to the top wineries of the time.until it was time to sell them to himself. Then, Monticello Vineyards was born. I don't believe Jay could have picked a better name. Monticello was the name of the estate of our first American wine connoisseur, Thomas Jefferson.

Pinot Noir is rightfully considered both the most difficult grape to grow and the most difficult wine to make. It's fussy about everything: the soil, the climate, when it heats up, when it cools down, too much air, not enough air, and so on. But the wine Pinot Noir produces makes all the effort worthwhile. The Pinot Noir grape's skin is very thin, so it typically produces lighter colored wine. It's not light in flavor, however. Many people confuse dark color in wine with deep flavor, but that's not always true.

Having said that, many Pinot Noirs are encouraged to have a deeper color, and in order to attain that, the winemaking process needs to be manipulated in such a way that the wine will not lose its elegance. Monticello strikes the perfect balance here.

Our selection is perfection at every level. The grapes were very gently pressed and allowed to ferment slowly, but not too slowly, in order to extract the perfect color and flavors. In this case, you're greeted by light cherry and strawberry with hints of mint, candied apple and vanilla. The finish brings it all together and then some.