“95 points. Gold. Excellent. Highly recommended.” California State Fair – Vintage 2013
“89 Points. From a very reliable series of well-priced wines.” Wine Enthusiast, 6.1.15 - Vintage 2013
“90 Points. Subtle aromas of oak, bilberry, rhubarb… red cherry flavor that nicely closes the circle. Highly Recommended.” Ultimate Wine Challenge, 6.25.14 - Vintage 2012
Noble Vines 667 Pinot Noir exhibits appealing aromas of black cherry, plum and a hint of bittersweet cocoa powder. Plush tannins and balanced acidity support core flavors of ripe Bing cherry, juicy plum and delicate hints of soft, toasty oak. The pedigree of the grapes makes 667 an appropriate wine for dinner parties, to be enjoyed on its own or with nearly any cuisine, particularly salmon, roast lamb, or salads with cheeses or nuts.
Beyond the Numbers
Vine selection 667 is one of the “Dijon clones” that have recently come to California from the Cote d’Or in Burgundy, France. This vine stock forms tight compact clusters that generate deeper color and more layers of tannin than other Pinot Noirs previously grown in California.
Pinot Noir 667 does especially well on the gentle slopes of our family-owned San Bernabe Vineyard, where heavier, darker soils are reminiscent of 667’s ancestral home in Burgundy. What makes this grape different at San Bernabe is the strong afternoon wind that thickens the naturally thin Pinot Noir skins, lending even more color, flavor, and soft tannins to our wine. To achieve greater flavor complexity, we utilize other esteemed vine stocks such as Pinot Noir 777 (also from Dijon, Burgundy), and 115 which provides less structure but contributes extraordinary aromatics. We also source Pinot Noir from nearby vineyards in Monterey’s Santa Lucia Highlands and Arroyo Seco AVAs. The grapes are crushed at the winery built right in the vineyard, to better preserve the superior qualities produced by the time-tested vine stock of Noble Vines.
Because the 667 Pinot Noir clone is naturally tannic and concentrated, winemaker James Ewart adopts careful vinification techniques to bring out its best qualities. He cold soaks the crushed grapes (called “must”) for two to three days, using gentle pump-overs to bring out the color and flavor without extracting any bitter seed tannins. He also ferments it at cooler temperatures to lock in that deep color and flavor profile. In fact, he says “I treat it more like a white wine.” After fermentation and aging in French oak, he blends in lots of additional clones that add specific aromatic qualities to the finished wine. This gentle care results in a balanced, cool-climate Pinot Noir that showcases clone 667’s concentrated flavors and supple tannins.