Due to extreme drought in 2018, the Calera clone selection of Estate Pinot, with pinhead size berries, was very tannic and dense. So, Thomas tried blending it with some of medium-sized berries from the adjacent block of PN115. This “Little Giant” of a wine has a rich, mouth-filling flavor dominated by raspberry, boysenberry, and mulberry fruit, along with rose petal and violet floral and spice notes. As a testament to the power of the Calera clone, with very low yields and tiny fruit, the final blend was made up of more PN115 than Calera.
The low yields of the Calera clone make it difficult and expensive to grow. Yet the intense, powerful wine, capable of long aging, is a beautiful extension of the range of Pinot Noir that we produce and it has become a legendary clonal selection in California. Some think its origins are in Gevrey-Chambertin and others believe it comes from Vosne-Romanée Grand Cru vineyard sites. Quantities of Petit Géant are very limited due to the small yield of fruit per acre.
The fruit is sorted in the vineyard, then again by hand, before being brought to the crush pad. All the fruit for this cuvée has been gently destemmed, handled so as to avoid over extraction of tannin, with only whole berries selected for the final wine. Fermentation was managed throughout with only gentle pump overs through the end of the cuvaison. The wine was aged in 20% new oak barriques.
Food Pairing Notes
Consumed young, this juicy wine is easy to pair with red meats, grilled lamb, grilled flank steak, and charcuterie. As it ages, it will be better suited to grilled quail, braised rabbit, duck of all sorts including Peking Duck with scallions and pancakes.