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  • Writer's pictureElkhorn Peak Cellars

Your First Look at the 2019 Vintage

Updated: Feb 14


Famed Napa Valley winemaker Cathy Corison summed it up by saying “The 2019 growing season was blissfully unremarkable with a long, cool finish resulting in firm structure wrapped in juicy, complex fruit.”

In farming, nothing beats a boring year. And 2019 was a boring year - no weather anomalies, no extremes, no fires, no surprises arrived in the Napa Valley in 2019.

The season began with abundant rainfall in the winter months. And then throughout spring and early summer, we received mostly breezy, sun-soaked afternoons marked by low humidity. As late summer arrived, we maintained relatively mild conditions, which allowed for extended hang time, preserving the fruit's freshness and finesse. The Pinot Noir harvest commenced on September 19th, bringing a gentle conclusion to the season. The pick went smoothly and we brought in a total of 16 tons of Pinot Noir -- a perfectly average yield from our 8-acre vineyard. The quality fruit of the fruit was outstanding, indicating a highly promising vintage.


2019 Pinot Noir – A soft, elegant Burgundian style Pinot Noir

Total Production: 16 barrels (398 cases of wine)

Tasting Notes by Elise and Ken: The color of this wine is a beautiful blend of ruby and brick red. On the nose, this wine leads with big red fruit like ripe red cherry, plum and raspberries intertwined with a subtle hint of earthiness. On the palette, dark Bing cherries take center stage, along with flavors of raspberry bramble. The fruit-forward flavors carry over to an enchanting mix of forest floor and wet river bed, which give way to a hint of cherry pie on the finish.

This vintage delivers nice, strong acidity, that enlivens the mouth and gives this wine excellent ageibility. No detectable tannins provide a smooth, elegant finish that lingers softly. Though young, this Pinot Noir possesses great aging potential. Drink now, or lay down for 5-7 years.

2019 Pinot Noir Reserve – A rich, fruit forward Pinot Noir with soft tannins and remarkable depth.

Total Production: 10 barrels (270 cases)

  • Wine Enthusiast: 92 POINTS "This full-bodied, mellow and mature-tasting wine is long on woodsy, mossy aromas, cooked black-cherry flavors and a smoked duck note that offers a great pairing suggestion." — Jim Gordon

  • Sommelier Challenge: 94 POINTS; PLATINUM MEDAL "While there certainly is a fair amount of Pinot Noir in Napa Valley, it definitely doesn’t get the raves that Sonoma or Santa Barbara get for the variety. I’ll take the rave bullhorn on this offering – one that delivers lively wood spice over cherry and ripe strawberry fruit. The acidity keeps it all knit together and it remains integrated through a long finish. It’s a solid middle of the road style that will run the table from fish to fowl to meat. Well done!" - Rich Cook

Tasting Notes by Elise and Ken: The color of this wine is a rich blend of ruby red and garnet. On the nose, this wine leads with dark red fruit like black cherry, and velvety vanilla. The palate delivers a silky feel with black cherry and rich strawberry, that give way to earthy flavors that remind us of candy cap mushrooms. The tannins in this wine are soft, likened to a short steeped black tea, while acidity remains quite good. This wine is medium-bodied, with a long and creamy finish. Drink now, or lay down for 7-10 years.

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