The name “Le Caprice,”, meaning capricious, is an ode to the fickle nature of the Pinot Noir grape and this wine is the fruitiest of the trio of estate Pinot Noir vineyards. 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 Oceanand 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. Native yeast fermentation and 16 months in French oak adds toasty complexity and structure to this wonderful wine.
The winter and spring of 2012 were wet and cold, but bloom occurred in ideal weather and the climate throughout the summer was picture perfect: temperate with only moderate heat spikes. A long Indian summer of mild temperatures and sunny days was an important factor in the ripening process. Yields for the 2012 harvest were slightly higher than average for all varietals. The vintage gave us beautiful, clean, healthy grape clusters across all varietals, appellations and vineyards. The 2012 Le Caprice shows intense aromas of raspberry liqueur, red cherry and blackberry mixed with leather and graphite. The palate is expressive and delivers Grillottes cherries, sandalwood, raspberry, wild strawberry, forest floor and leather. The texture is round, tactile, mineral and fragrant. Expressive now, the wine will continue to develop for at least two decades.