Mahoney Vineyards Carneros Estate Pinot Noir 2011
Wine and Spirits Magazine is tough at scoring wines and when they give the BEST BUY designation to a wine it is a mighty fine honor and a screaming value buy. For the previous vintage, Wine and Spirits Magazine loved the Mahoney Carneros estate Pinot Noir and at about double the price proclaimed it a 90 Point BEST BUY and said it “exuded ripe berry and exotic spice aromas”, absolutely loved the taste profile and that “This Pinot has a luxurious mouthfeel that belies its price range and sets the benchmark for other Carneros Pinots to match.” And now the new vintage of this identical wine at half the normal price! This is a marquee winery that loves the idea of getting their wine in front of the top wine buyers in the country and sees this discounted as well placed marketing dollars to get their delicious wines into the who’s who of wine consumers. This wine is their Carneros Estate and its full of delicious red fruit - sweet cherry pie, wild strawberries and red plums, the ultimate in a consumer friendly taste profile. And remember the winemaker is Ken Foster, who helped make the reputation of David Bruce winery as he made the wine there for 15 years. He was the guy who shifted the wineries focus from making just delicious Chardonnay to also making incredible Pinot Noir as that is his specialty. This is a very compelling opportunity and the ultimate high end value buy that is worthy of purchasing by the case. It’s very limited as this is a micro-production wine and there is just not a lot to go around. Enjoy!
By Mahoney Vineyards
2011 Carneros Estate Pinot Noir
80% Las Brisas Vineyard, Sonoma Carneros
20% Mahoney Ranch, Napa Carneros
The blend contains 10 separate lots in all, representing 7 or more clones. As is typical for our style, the dominant clones, Swan and Carneros Creek, are more red-fruited, and the Dijons are there for texture and a bit of depth.
Rough Breakdown by Clone
37% Swan Selection
26% Carneros Creek (a Martini selection, different from UCD13)
22% Dijon 667
6% Dijon 777
3% Beba (now called FPS107 Pommard...but not the same as Pommard 4 or 5)
3% Mariafeld, UCD23
2% Dijon 115
1% Heritage block clonal mix...a mixed block of old selections including Hanzell and Chalone)
About 16 months in 20% new French oak. 100% Estate grown Carneros Pinot Noir. Bottled March, 2013.
In the early 70s, my wife Kathy and I set out on a journey that has now spanned forty years in the Napa Valley. Our youthful combined passions for each other and wine drove us to follow our dreams. We moved north from San Francisco to become grape farmers and to eventually open a modern winery. Due to our love of Burgundies, the southern end of Napa was ideal, and in many ways the Carneros chose us. The soil, microclimate, and untapped potential of the land were perfect for what we had in mind; growing incredible Pinot Noir. Kathy and I have worked extensively over the years researching Pinot Noir Clones with UC Davis and comparing notes with growers throughout Napa and Sonoma in pursuit of great appellation specific wines. Our research in the vineyards continues to this day, as we reflect on how our home, our lives, our dreams, and our passions are all entrenched in the soils of the Carneros. Kathy and I invite you to join us in toasting 40 years of passion, family, friends, farming, and our never ending pursuit to grow world-class wines.
In 1972, when the Mahoneys and their partner/dear friend Balfour Gibson, broke ground on the first new winery to be built in the Carneros region since prohibition, their goal was clear - to create Pinot Noir that could stand up to the Burgundies Francis had fallen in love with in his European travels. Their first winery, Carneros Creek Winery led by winemaker Melissa Moravec, helped the region acquire its appellation status in 1983. Surrounding the winery, their original clonal plot garnered much praise and yielded a trove of winemaking expereince used to plant the Mahoney's future vineyard sites - the Mahoney Ranch (purchased in 1986) and the Las Brisas Vineyard (purchased in 1996). In 2002, Francis and Kathy sold their beloved winery and the original clonal plot in hopes of enjoying the peace and quiet that an early retirement would offer. Their retirement was shortlived at best! Both Francis and Kathy realized that retirement was better left for those whose hearts weren't in their work and so it was that they reinvented themselves at Mahoney Vineyards. With a staff that has worked alongside the Mahoneys for multiple decades on average, the Mahoneys continue to expand the possibilities of their beloved Carneros region.
Our Estate Vineyards
-Las Brisas Vineyard: Our Las Brisas Vineyard is named after the winds that drive morning fog from our vineyards and usher in cooling airflow in the late afternoon. Las Brisas is our workhorse vineyard, with 91 acres planted to 15 clones of Pinot Noir, Vermentino, Sangiovese, Syrah, Montepulciano, Nebbiolo, Tempranillo, and Albariño. The unique Carneros soil structure provides us with great wines that showcase the remarkable terroir of the Las Brisas Vineyard.
-Mahoney Ranch Vineyard: The Mahoney Ranch Vineyard is located behind the Mahoney Family home. The 45 acres of vineyard were specifically selected to focus on 16 different clones of Pinot Noir and 2 clones of Chardonnay which are located in our Gavin Vineyard block. The ridgeline vines are planted running east to west catching plenty of sunshine and the elevation of the hillside allows cooler temperatures to regulate ripening. The connection between the soils, clones, and geography provide us with quality fruit to consistently work with. Mahoney Ranch Vineyard is our backyard, it is the foreground to our every sunrise, and in the evening a reflection of our life’s work.
[Info provided by J.H.N.]