Consisting of four select barrels, this wine was aged in oak barrels for 19 months, 50% of which was new French oak. Be not afraid, however, as the barrels I consistently choose for my wines express light toast and produce spice flavors of vanilla, cinnamon and cedar.
Half of the juice for the Reserve is derived from whole cluster ferments. Alcohol came in at just under 14%. The wine is composed of an even blend of my 115 and 777 Dijon clones. Yield on this vintage was limited to just over 2 tons to the acre.
In My Humble Opinion
Hints of wood smoke and caramel combine with aromas of dried red fruits on the nose. When compared to the 2009 Estate Pinot Noir, the higher percentage of whole cluster juice and longer barrel aging lend more tannins to the Reserve. On the palate, note dried cranberry, black cherry and black raspberry. The lingering finish provides a dash of chocolate and cola which I suspect will develop more fully with time.
Typical of vintages from this remarkable vineyard, the Reserve has serious backbone and structure which will make it an age-worthy companion to prior Carlton Hill vintages. Yet, in contrast to the 2008 vintage, the 2009 Estate Reserve is already very approachable and thus, ready to drink!
96 cases produced.
Buy the 2009 Carlton Hill Estate Reserve Pinot Noir: