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: 2017 was an excellent vintage in virtually all respects. A good set during Spring flowering set us up for good yields. Temperatures remained fairly moderate all year until just before harvest when a substantial heat spike impacted some vineyards. Sometimes one can wait until after a heat spike is passed and hope that one does not overshoot ideal ripeness. We chose to go ahead and pick the Lester Family Pinot just as the heat spike was ramping up. While we had to deal with warm fruit, we were pleased that the grapes did not have time to shrivel and desiccate. With the 2017 Lester Family Vineyard Pinot Noir, we used 100% whole clusters placed into a fermenter with absolutely nothing added to it. Once the wine finished malo-lactic fermentation in barrel, we added minimal sulfur to stabilize the wine (preserve the purity and freshness).
Wine Notes: 2017 is another classic vintage of the Lester Family Vineyard Pinot Noir. High toned aromatics with hints of rose petals, baking spices, and pomegranates linger on the nose. On the palate, the aromatics are echoing the nose with a backbone of sappy red fruit. The wine is already showing nice body while vibrant acidity caries a long finish. The textural qualities of Pinot Noir are often the ones that most attract me to it with a voluptuousness that carries what might be delicate and feminine fruit. This Lester fits that mold and I would expect it to continue to soften and gain greater depth over time. As with our other Pinot Noir wines, the Lester will continue to improve with time in bottle. The 2017 is delicious now and should improve over the next three to five years.
”The Lester vineyard is located in the Corralitos foothills at the south end of the Santa Cruz Mountains, and benefits from cool fogs and air from the Monterey Bay. Sandy loam soil. 100% whole bunch in 2017. Sweet, textured fruit that’s lively, grainy and spicy with plenty of richness. It’s a bit meaty with some green notes, but the dominant theme here is lovely sweet fruit. Very fine.” Jamie Goode, Wine Anorak. 95 Points.
Matt Kettman, Wine Enthusiast. 94 Points.** Antonio Galloni, Vinous. 93 Points