96JD: The 2016 Pinot Noir Garys' Vineyard is another terrific 2016 from this estate. Brought up in 40% new French oak, it offers a focused, elegant, medium to full-bodied style as well as terrific notes of violets, blueberries, spice, and earth. It has terrific purity, elegance, and length, and is one of the finest examples I’ve tasted of this cuvée.
The 2016 vintage saw beautiful weather conditions and a welcomed average yield of fruit. Rain returned to Monterey County in the beginning of the 2016 season (approximately 12 inches, the most our area has seen since 2011). Budbreak began the second week in March and vines showed more life and energy due to the early-season soil moisture. Strong vine growth required additional labor to tend to the shoots. Summer saw a balanced fruit set and weather conditions typical of the windy, fog-blanketed Santa Lucia Highlands. August temperatures were cooler than average which allowed for a slow, gentle ripening up to harvest. Patience was necessary for harvest—it began the first week of September and continued through the first week of October.
Garys’ Vineyard has been named “one of the most famous vineyards in California” by Lettie Teague in the Wall Street Journal. It is a joint venture between Gary Pisoni and Gary Franscioni, two native growers of the Santa Lucia Highlands. Pinot Noir and Syrah grapes have enjoyed long, slow growing seasons in this 50-acre parcel since 1997. The vineyard’s position on a sloping hillside in the center of the 16-mile long appellation offers a true representation of the Santa Lucia Highlands: alluvial soils with heavy fog and strong, cold winds in the summer.
The Pisoni Family is committed to raising and hand-crafting exceptional wines. The limited-production Lucia wines are created using classic, gentle and thoughtful winemaking techniques. Hand-picked and sorted grapes are fermented with native yeast and aged in carefully selected French oak barrels. Our state-of-the-art winemaking facility uses gravity flow as part of a custom design conceived to merge the estate vineyards and winery. This affords us complete control of the farming and winemaking process, ensuring consistently superior quality.
TASTING NOTES: Built around an opulent core of boysenberry, black cherry and wild strawberry, our 2016 Garys’ Vineyard Pinot Noir shows off a beautiful dark ruby color when swirled in the glass. The clarity of the fruit is accentuated against a backdrop of graphite, orange peel, and sandalwood spice notes. Waves of volume coat the palate even as bright, polished acidity culminates in supple, focused tannin. Having weathered another year of drought, the vines produced berries of intensely concentrated flavor. The result is a Pinot Noir that combines richness with restraint and complexity with precision
CASES PRODUCED: 600 | WINEMAKER: Jeff Pisoni
BARREL AGING: 11 months in 41% New Oak. 100% French Oak. WHOLE CLUSTER. 100% Native Yeast
2016 GARYS’ VINEYARD PINOT NOIR