96 pts | Vinous"Brilliant ruby-red. Expansive, spice-accented black raspberry, boysenberry, cherry cola and floral aromas show excellent clarity and mineral lift. Chewy, sweet and focused in the mouth, offering densely packed red and blue fruit, candied violet and spicecake flavors that show alluring sweetness and reveal a hint of botanical herbs as the wine opens up. Youthfully chewy tannins add shape to the strikingly long, focused finish, which leaves behind sappy red berry preserve, floral and exotic spice notes." - Josh Raynolds
This distinctive combination of vineyard and unique Pinot Noir selection has resulted in a powerful, rich and nuanced wine that has complex aroma of red rose petal and violets, raspberry, pomegranate and black cherry, black tea and rosemary. All these flavors play on the tongue and offer a hint of mulberry as well.
The finish is long, with a texture that is at times silky and at others velvety. This will be a distinctive wine to enjoy now with the right food, and to guard for future enjoyment.
Petit Géant highlights Block 6 of our Estate Vineyard, planted to the Calera Clone of Pinot Noir. It is a controversial selection of Pinot Noir to be sure, as it may be at once the most Burgundian and as well as the least Burgundian of all the selections made in the New World. It has naturally very low yields and is prone to millerandage or shatter in spring, then it has such tiny and infertile berries that the wine tends to look as deeply colored as a Chambertin or Californian Pinot Noir. The origins of the selection in the US are murky and perhaps came from one Grand Cru Burgundy vineyard or another, or it came from a cutting found already in California, depending upon the version you believe. In any case, it is a highly original and powerful expression of the Pinot spectrum, and we believe it will come to be known as one of our finest wines. Unfortunately, there isn’t very much of it. It is a notoriously low yielding clone of Pinot Noir, getting as little as three quarters of a ton per acre, which it did in 2019.
The deep color saturation of the wine comes from the very tiny berries of the Calera Clone Pinot Noir, now also known as FPS Clone 90. Due to the very low yields, relatively large proportion of stem to fruit, and the small size of the berries, the perfectly ripened Pinot Noir was sorted on a vibrating table and then entirely destemmed before being fed bin by bin, not pumped, into small-format stainless steel fermenting tanks. Cap management began with gentle pump overs, followed by traditional pigeage by foot as needed. After fermentation, the wine aged in a combination of 21% new and 79% neutral French oak barriques for approximately 12 months, followed by 5 months in stainless steel tank prior to bottling.
Food Pairing Notes
If consuming this wine young, enjoy it with grilled NY strip steaks, peking duck, sautéed duck breast with crispy skin, leg of lamb Provençale, porcini risotto, sautéed lamb loin coated in toasted hazelnut flour, quail, whole duck (or pheasant) stuffed with chestnuts and wild rice. Also, a simple pasta dish with a creamy porcini or morel sauce, or if possible with white alba truffles.