Ken Brown La Encantada Pinot Noir 2014
Sta. Rita Hills AVA, CA
We absolutely LOVE this Pinot! Reminiscent of an "Old World, Burgundian" style, but still packed with plenty of flavor, it's a delight for the taste buds! Ken Brown is a master Pinot Noir winemaker, and his skills really show through in this wine.
This wine is seductive and complex with intense aromatics and an elegant mouthfeel, thanks in part to the Swan clone grown at La Encantada Vineyard. Profuse aromas of ripe red cherry and dark raspberry are accented by hints of vanilla, rhubarb and subtle earth tones. Flavors of baked cherry, blackberry and a hint of spice are beautifully supported by well-integrated tannins and a silky texture. The wine’s superb balance and layers of complexity ensure great cellar potential.
100% La Encantada Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills. Located just west of the legendary Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, La Encantada is in the heart of Sta. Rita Hills’ quintessential Pinot Noir zone. The estate was planted by Richard Sanford in 2001 and was one of the first vineyards in Santa Barbara County to be certified organic. Comprised of 100 acres of mostly Pinot Noir, this north-facing vineyard is planted on a ridge straddling the Santa Ynez River Valley and is open to the cooling marine breezes, which sweep in from the Pacific Ocean. Soils are a combination of clay, loam, shale and sand. Fruit sourced for Ken Brown Wines included the Swan clone and clone 115.
The 2014 vintage made history as the earliest harvest on record in Santa Barbara County. It was also the shortest in duration, commencing on August 25 and concluding just 32 days later. The growing season began with a very mild winter and below average rainfall for the third year in a row. Budbreak occurred in early March followed by warm, even temperatures throughout the spring and summer. Yields were a touch above average in most vineyards, though slightly lower than 2013. Grapes from La Encantada were harvested on September 9 and 16.
Pinot Noir clusters for this wine were hand sorted before being de-stemmed and gravity fed to small fermenters. The must was immediately chilled for a pre-fermentation cold soak where the most beneficial extraction of color, aroma and flavor occurs. During fermentation, concentration was enhanced by gently punching down the cap several times per day. The wine aged 11 months in French oak barrels with 33% new French oak and was bottled on August 13, 2015.
Acid: 5.4 g/L