The textbook vintage of 2012 gave us some exceptional Pinot noir to work with at the winery. The color is iridescent garnet with great depth, thanks to ideal ripening conditions. The nose opens to aromas of bright raspberry, currant and nutmeg. The palate is met with flavors of black cherry, cola and baking spices, all woven together with silky, elegant tannins. The mouthfeel is rich, creamy and has a gentle structure with a lingering finish, characteristic of
the Carneros AVA and this noble varietal.
Clos Du Val Winery
Clos Du Val, French for "small vineyard estate of a small valley," was founded in 1972 in the now legendary Stags Leap District by Franco-American entrepreneur John Goelet. After a worldwide search to purchase vineyard properties from which to craft world-class wines, 150
acres in Stags Leap and 180 acres in Carneros were chosen, solidifying Clos Du Val's iconic stature and formidable place in Napa Valley history.
Today, for Clos Du Val Winemaker Kristy Melton, it is the bounty from these renowned vineyards that acts as the foundation for the distinctive, terroir-driven wines of balance and elegance for which Clos Du Val is known.
View all Clos Du Val Wines
Technically a part of Napa Valley, the Carneros region straddles both Sonoma & Napa counties. It's the Napa region closest to the San Francisco peninsula and the San Pablo Bay, which is instrumental in controlling the climate of the area. The winds from the San Pablo bay create a cool weather pattern ideal for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Carneros are delicate, yet complex, with firm structure and acidity. And while the pair are the most popular varieties of the region, some winemakers have branched out, particularly with Syrah. The cool climate Syrah of Carneros is well structured and stylistically similar to Syrah from the Northern Rhone, though often fuller-bodied.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.