Abbassi Vineyard, Carneros, California
Terragena winemaker Chris Buchanan together with the Abbassi family, who own this small Carneros vineyard, selected three barrels of pinot noir from the 2017 harvest that stood out for outstanding flavors. These three barrels were then bottled separately and became our 2017 Single Barrel Pinot Noirs. Each exemplifies the characteristics of a particular grapevine clone, which is a variation on the pinot noir varietal, as well as the characteristics that aging in different kinds of oak barrels can impart on wine.
115 Clone aged in Neutral Oak: flavors of red cherry swirling with tropical fruits of mango, papaya, pineapple and guavas, as well as basil, mint, oregano, and rosemary. An excellent example of this mainstay clone.
Pommard Clone aged in Neutral Oak: more structured and tannic mouthfeel, definite body and definition. Up front cherry, stone fruit, and leather flavors with a lovely flintiness in the finish and a backbone of basil and oregano tending towards dry straw and dust, perhaps an expression of the earthier characteristics for which this clone is known.
Pommard Clone aged in New Hungarian Oak: new oak attributes of cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg sit firmly up front, with hints of dark chocolate and coffee along with the vanilla that is a hallmark of oak. These spices and flavors enhance the stone fruit character and give life to the more confected side of this wine (think peach crisp or cherry pie) as well as the herbal character. This wine is an excellent demonstration of how oak can affect and enhance certain characteristics in a wine.
Suggested tasting order: 115 Clone aged in Neutral Oak, Pommard Clone aged in Neutral Oak, Pommard Clone aged in New Hungarian Oak
Or, for fun, taste them blind and see if you can guess which is which!
Note on all three: Just as fascinating as the differences between these wines is the similarity. This speaks to the dramatic influence of the place in the creation of the wine. We strive to capture the unique character of the vineyard, and we feel the similarities of these wines express the vintage and location where the grapes were grown. The differences are minor, and fascinating to observe, but like members of a family there is a definite similarity between them all.
Release date: September 1, 2018
Available only to Adventure Subscription Experience Members