Kingston Family Vineyards Alazan Pinot Noir 2009

The Kingston vineyards, first planted in 1998 and gradually expanded over the past dozen years, now consists of ~350 acres nestled within the century-old Kingston family farm in Chile‚Äôs Casablanca Valley. Chile feels like a more dramatic version of California, with narrower valleys and much higher mountains. In many ways, the Casablanca Valley is analogous to California‚Äôs Central Coast, but somewhat colder. Even the plants look similar! Our vineyard lies about 12 miles from the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by rolling forested hills. We enjoy a cooler location than most of Casablanca, with temperatures often measuring 10¬∞F cooler than at Veramonte (our neighbors on the opposite/eastern end of our valley). Due to cooling effects from the Pacific‚Äôs icy Humboldt Current, our climate is mild and the growing season is long. All of our vines are planted on their own roots. The Pinot Noir and Syrah are planted in the hills, where the sun exposure and drainage is more favorable to red grapes, while the Sauvignon Blanc grows in the lower, cooler sections of the vineyard. The soil in the hills contains a lot of decomposed granite; lower down it is sandy clay. We farm at very low yields: typically 2 to 3 tons per acre-a necessity just to ripen our crop. Like the great vineyards of Europe, we are well into cold nights and short days by the time our grapes are ready to be picked. The payoff is in the intensity and vibrancy of the fruit. We harvest our last lot of Syrah in May–the equivalent of November in California or France.

Plum and raspberry aromas are on the spot and inviting, with a touch of smoky darkness. A firm, slightly clamping palate is lively and extended, while this tastes of savory, saucy plum and berry fruits. A note of ocean salt pokes through on a solid finish..March/2018