Vineyard and Region Information: When you are setting out to produce Pinot Noir that is evocative of the old world, there are very few places in the new world where one can achieve that. The region that we feel has been most successful in this regard is the extreme California coast - those vineyards planted within six miles of the Pacific and the cooling fog that rolls in off the ocean. The Corralitos foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains are just a few miles from the deep waters and abundant fog of Monterey Bay. It has proven over the years to be one of our favorite places to source Pinot Noir as every year we get enough fog and cooling from the ocean to allow the grapes to ripen slowly. The net effect is great physiological ripeness at low sugar levels, along with well lignified stems. We believe these are essential to produce great Pinot.
Vintage Notes: 2016 was a beautiful vintage - good yields, a moderate growing season and decent weather through harvest - that allowed us to nail the pick dates perfectly and make wines with minimal intervention. In fact, we were able to ferment the 2016 Lester Pinot with 100% whole clusters and absolutely nothing else added, with the exception of minimal SO2 after the completion of malolactic fermentation.
Spice, deep red fruit, crushed rocks are abundant on the nice. On the palate, one is greeted by abundant vibrant red fruits, spice notes and plenty of juicy acidity to keep it fresh and to sustain a long layered finish. The various components of this wine have only just begun to harmonize only 7 months post bottling. I would guess it will continue to improve with time in bottle, and given the excellent acidity, this could be a very long lived vintage.
Wine Reviews: **Jeb Dunnuck - 95 points ** “The vibrant ruby-colored 2016 Lester Family Vineyard Pinot Noir is a beauty. Brought up in 25% new oak and not destemmed, it has a good mix of red and black fruits, spicy oak, sappy flowers, and underbrush. Juicy, taut, and vibrant on the palate, with bright yet integrated acidity, it has a balanced style that's going to benefit from 2-3 years of cellaring and keep for a decade or more.”
**Wine Enthusiast - 95 points ** “Bradley Brown goes 100% whole cluster for this single-vineyard expression with stunning results. Aromas of sagebrush, pine needles, damp thyme and wet soil meet with tart raspberry on the distinctive nose. The palate’s tangy red fruit is lifted by tea leaves, wild green sage and zesty acidity that vibrates the tongue.”
**Rusty Gaffney, The PinotFile - 94 points ** "Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose is replete with whole cluster goodness including aromas of dark cherry, exotic spices, burnt pipe tobacco and compost. Heady fruits including black cherry, boysenberry and blackberry are accented with redeeming notes of spice and tobacco, and framed by silky and supple tannins. The mouthfeel is comforting, oak is judiciously integrated, and the juicy, long finish leaves quite a gratifying impression. Even more striking when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. This wine has personality. ”
**Antonio Galloni, Vinous - 92 points ** “The 2016 Pinot Noir Lester Family Vineyard is intensely floral and savory and yet it also has enough fruit to fill out the mid-palate and finish nicely. Crushed rose petal, star anise and orange peel are some of the many nuances that round out this attractive, mid-weight Pinot in the Big Basin range.”