The EtudePinot Noir Alambic Brandy (100% Pinot Noir) begins with delicate floral and perfume notes as well as hints of roasted nuts and caramel apple. The palate offers a nuttiness combined with cranberry and honey notes. This is a fruit-driven brandy with an elegant texture, good density and a hint of raspberry on the finish.
Wine Enthusiast 92 points - This 100% Pinot Noir brandy, from Etude winemaker Jon Priest, warms gently all the way down the gullet. A warm scent of caramel and candied oranges precedes a relatively dry palate, which shows fruit laced with leathery notes, finishing with creme brulee, nutmeg and cardamom. Well-balanced, with just a little puckery tannin. Although it would be a shame to mix this “extremely limited bottling” (600 cases made), it would shine in a cocktail sassed up with a little vermouth and bitters. - K.N. (Dec 2011)
Pinot Noir has been Etude’s greatest pursuit and passion throughout its nearly 30 year history. This grape variety, more than any other, expresses the place where it is grown and all the factors that influence its growth (slope, temperature, sun and wind exposure, etc.). The goal at Etude is to produce distinctly-styled Pinot Noirs of the highest quality – wines that can satisfy any “Burgundian” urge and yet be proud of their California roots.
Originally, the historic Carneros property that is now home to the Etude winery was, for many years, a well-known brandy distillery. When Etude bought the property in 2002, it also purchased a small number of the best fine oak casks filled with aging brandy. This incredibly high quality brandy slumbered quietly in oak casks, gracefully developing layers of complexity. The brandy features lots aged from 17 to 28 years.
At Etude, this is viewed as buried treasure; a one-time time opportunity to allow the beloved Pinot Noir grape to express itself in a new way. Winemaker Jon Priest began the process of selecting the very best lots and creating a blend that has distinct Pinot Noir varietal character as well as the texture, density and length that are the trademarks of a world-class brandy.
This 100% Pinot Noir brandy was processed in traditional alambic copper pot stills and was hand-distilled two times. The brandy has been aging in the finest French oak casks between 17 and 28 years, giving the brandy richness and balance.
|What began twenty five years ago as a philosophical state of mind is now a state-of-the-art winemaking facility where the ancient art of winemaking is pursued with a singular passion.
Etude Wines is dedicated to mastering the craft of winegrowing. In classical music, an etude is a composition with a technical focus that allows the musician to practice a particular technique. Similarly, Etude wines are the product of deliberate concentration on the instructive variables of the craft. The end game is not edification alone, but rather the wine itself as a source of enjoyment. Chopin piano etudes are notoriously difficult but sublimely beautiful… this is an example of the practicing craft transformed to art.
Founder and self described winegrower Tony Soter puts it this way: “There’s no better vehicle with which to study or practice the craft of winemaking than Pinot Noir. It is the most challenging, unforgiving and quixotic of all wine grapes, and yet the most delicate and transparent.” “Make no mistake it is a humbling pursuit, but when it’s right, Pinot Noir is a glorious and moving thing. It is in the pursuit of that experience that we all work.”
Working together in this oenological quest for perfection are current winemaker Jon Priest and viticulturalist Franci Ashton. They transform the very finest Carneros and Napa Valley grapes into world-class wines sought out by the most discriminating wine lovers. In addition to its widely acclaimed Carneros Pinot Noir and legendary Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Etude has also developed a loyal following for Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Merlot.