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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.
2017 was cooler and wetter than previous vintages, a welcome relief after five years of drought. However, a warmer than normal early summer followed by a cool September allowed the grapes to gradually reach perfect ripeness. The vintage produced rich, fruit forward Pinot Noirs that will show well young, but which possess the structure to age. 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. Ripe and expressive now, the wine will continue to develop for a decade or more.