2014 Rapley Trail Vineyard Pinot Noir
The Rapley Trail Vineyard has a unique aromatic signature that reminds us of incense, north-African spice and forest floor. The '14 vintage is red fruited with great texture, harmony and richness. We couldn't be happier with the balance this vintage possesses. It will likely need a year or two to reach it's apogee, but should provide many years of deliciousness.
The Rapley Trail Vineyard (avg. elev. 1650 ft.) was planted in 1981, consisting of six contiguous acres of Pinot Noir vines on our Estate’s rugged southeastern slopes. It has long been the backbone of our past
"Estate Reserve" Pinot Noir, but beginning in 2002 we have begun to bottle portions of the vineyard separately. This "deconstruction" displays the unique aspects and interactions of soil and climate that
accounts for grapes whose flavor is a direct product of where they are grown; this is terroir. The Rapley Trail Vineyard bottling is comprised of the various lots harvested from the vineyard, which in some years can be picked in as many as 7 passes.
2014 was the second consecutive drought vintage featuring one of the earliest harvesting in our 40+ year history. Early bud-break and flowering combined with relatively warm weather throughout the growing season led to the rapid development of sugar and flavor in many vineyards. Consequently, we had tremendous ripeness at relatively low sugars which produced wines with bright acidity and ample structure.
Santa Cruz Mountains
The 2014 Pinot Noir Rapley Trail Vineyard is one of the most beautiful and expressive wines in the range. Silky, open-knit and gracious, the 2014 offers striking aromatic nuance and terrific overall balance. The 40% whole clusters are pushed forward in the wine's savory profile. Readers will have to be patient, as the wine's best days are very much in the future. Although reticent today, I imagine the 2014 will be quite special down the road.
Food Pairing Notes
94 points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous