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.
2016 was near perfect. Overall slightly cooler than average, it started early with a warm, dry spring and just enough rain to meet the vineyard’s needs. A long Indian summer gave us excellent ripening and flavour development. Moderate temperatures at harvest allowed gradual picking as each block achieved perfection, yielding a bountiful crop with excellent flavour development and slightly lower potential alcohol. The vintage produced delicate, classically styled wines with firm acidity and bright fruit. The wine shows intense aromas of raspberry liqueur, red cherry and blackberry mixed with leather, violet and graphite. The palate is expressive and delivers Grillottes cherry, sandalwood, raspberry, wild strawberry, forest floor, hazelnut, mussels and leather, with a background of black truffle and elegant minerality. Beautifully approachable now, the wine will continue to develop for a decade or more.