Ancien Wines Mink Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This is a perennially stunning wine and this vintage is no exception. Spicy earth and black cherry intertwine on the nose and palate as additional waves of strawberry and rhubarb weigh in. Medium bodied, balanced and complex, the wine’s texture is creamy and has plenty of length, with stony minerality throughout.
Incisive and slightly succulent fruit is the mainstay of this deep, very well-focused young Pinot, and it hits the velvety varietal mark on the palate with broad, marvelously sustained, black cherry flavors that last and last. Very rich and fairly mouthfilling but neatly polished and never inclining to heaviness or threatening to be too much of a good thing, the wine is as well-controlled as it is fully ripe, and, under its ample flesh, it possesses enough structural firmness to age into even better with time. While its showiness invites early drinking – and we would not argue that it is other than delicious now – it clearly has the makings of a wine that will very handsomely repay some three to five years of further cellaring.
Situated in the southeastern corner of Napa Valley in the Vaca range, the vineyards of the Coombsville AVA enjoy a long growing season mitigated by cool, San Pablo Bay fog.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”