With a few exceptions, I personally don't fancy light-bodied wines, whereas this bottle of well-structured 2017 Belle Glos Eulenloch Pinot Noir was rather on a medium-bodied side and made a great exception.
🍇100% Pinot Noir
🌎 Los Carneros AVA, Napa Valley, USA
⭐ Vivino 4.4
It's a mega impressive and rich Pinot Noir from Eulenloch Vineyard, located in the Carneros region of Napa Valley from winemaker Joe Wagner. Being raised in the cellars of Napa Cabernet icons, Joe Wagner nonetheless decided that Pinot Noir was his calling. It was his father, Chuck Wagner, who worked alongside his parents Charlie and Lorna Belle Glos Wagner at Caymus Winery that they started back in 1972, and taught Joe the nuts-and-bolts reality of the field work and hose dragging that go to the heart of winemaking. When in 2001, at the age of 19, Joe Wagner created Belle Glos, a producer of Pinot Noir particularly known for its single-vineyard releases from throughout California’s best coastal regions, he chose the name to honor his grandmother, who was an inspirational figure to Joe and an avid lover of Pinot Noir.
Los Carneros AVA (also known as Carneros AVA), the only viticultural area that straddles both Sonoma and Napa counties, owes its uniqueness to its location along San Pablo Bay—a tidal estuary forming the northern reaches of the San Francisco Bay. This 10-mile-wide bay offers persistent, cooling fog and unrelenting breezes, making Carneros the coolest, windiest district in the Napa-Sonoma region. Eulenloch Vineyard is located on the Napa side of Carneros region of and is predominantly comprised of clay soils which retain water but are remarkably shallow. When combined with the cool coastal breeze, these characteristics provide with ripe fruit that is complex and nuanced.
"My goal with each of the Belle Glos Pinot Noirs is to express the uniqueness of each vineyard site and craft a genuine style of California Pinot Noir that is layered, complex, fruit-forward, and rich. Made exclusively with fruit from our vineyard in Carneros, Eulenloch is a beautiful expression of Napa Valley Pinot Noir." —Joseph Wagner
The winter of 2017 in the Napa Valley was one of the coldest and wettest on record with temperatures that ranged from 2 to 5 degrees colder than normal, and rainfall that was 200 to 300% above normal. Due to very hot weather in late July and August, grapevine growth was ahead of normal with veraison starting in mid-July and being completed by early August. The fruit fared well through the heat events, developing ripe flavors and beautiful dark color while retaining bright natural acidity.
After destemming the berries, the intact fruit were cold-soaked up to two weeks to soften the skins and allow for ideal extraction. Fermentation occurred in a combination of closed and open-top stainless steel tanks. Thereafter only the freerun juice was barreled and aged in 100% French oak barrels (60% new) for nine months. After the first racking, malolactic fermentation was complete and wine was racked for a second time before making the final blend. This 2017 bottle of Belle Glos Eulenloch Pinot Noir came deep ruby red (way deeper than usual Pinot) with a massive nose of ripe cherry, blueberry, and blackberry with hints of cocoa and forest floor. Bold texture, with medium+ acidity, medium- tannins, and a long velvety finish.