Nicolas-Jay Carlton Estate Bishop Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Shimmering ruby-red. Heady, spice- and mineral-accented cherry and blue fruit liqueur aromas take on incense and floral accents with air. Juicy, seamless and concentrated, offering densely packed black raspberry, boysenberry and cherry liqueur flavors that show sharp delineation and smoky back-end thrust. Finishes extremely long and lively, with resonating blue fruit, mineral and floral notes and polished tannins that make a late appearance. 50% new oak.
Bishop Creek is the estate vineyard, now two decades old and coming into its prime. This is a wine to stash and savor down the road a bit. Currently it's tight and firm, lightly herbal, detailed and impeccably balanced with a mix of wild berries, citrus and soil. Drink 2022 through the rest of the decade and perhaps beyond.
Refined and keenly focused, with distinctive cherry and guava flavors that are laced with rose petal and savory spice accents, picking up tension and polish toward fine-grained tannins. Drink now through 2027.
Yamhill-Carlton, characterized by pastoral, rolling hills composed of shallow, quick-draining, ancient marine soil, is ideal for Pinot noir and other cool-climate-loving varieties. It is in the rain shadow of the Coast Range to its west, whose highest point climbs to an altitude of 3,500 feet. Yamhill-Carlton is actually surrounded by mountains on three sides: Chehalem Mountains to the north, the Dundee Hills to the east and the western Coast Range to its west, which, when it lets Pacific air through, serves to cool the region.
Vineyards grow on the ridges surrounding the two small communities of Yamhill and Carlton and cover about 1,200 acres of this 60,000 acre region, which roughly makes a horse-shoe shape on a map.
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.”