2020 “The Bench” Pinot Noir
“The Bench” showcases the most aromatic and full-bodied lots, yet the structure is elegant, silky and light on its feet. Aromas of spiced plum and macerated cherries, luscious flavors of raspberry ice cream and fresh black cherry ribboned with clove, ginger, and earth. A graceful wine, complex, intricate, and irresistable.
Poseidon Vineyard, located at the confluence of Carneros Creek and the Napa River, was planted in 1973 by the Molnar Family to the Burgundian varietals: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The maritime environment of the Carneros grape-growing region delivers cool, foggy mornings followed by warm days that slowly nurture ripening. This seaside influence is particularly acute on our estate, where one can see the masts of boats bobbing in the water just a few steps to the south. The prominent feature of our vineyard is the gravelly, geological “Bench”—the elevated, rocky, former riverbank of Carneros Creek—that runs serpentine through the center of the site. From this unique geological feature spring some of our most distinct, small-production wines.
The season began with ideal conditions through the Spring and early Summer, without any major frost or heat events, allowing for uniform development and ripening. Yet few wines were produced in an infamous year notable for a global pandemic and multiple wildfires in the North Coast. Lightening-sparked fires in mid August fortunately had minimal impact on our vineyards, allowing us to harvest high-quality fruit from early-ripening varieties. Severe regional fires in late September, however, brought the season to an abrupt end.
The three sections of our two-acre “Bench” from our Poseidon Vineyard are harvested and fermented and aged separately in 100% Hungarian oak barrels, 20% new. The wine is a barrel selection of only the most highly aromatic, bright, lively and elegant barrels. We rack this Pinot only once before bottling to maintain the pure fruit expression.
Alex Beloz, Winemaker