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2012 Couloir Chileno Valley Vineyard Pinot Noir, Marin County

2012 Couloir Chileno Valley Vineyard Pinot Noir, Marin County

SOLD OUT - The lightest of the 2012 Couloir Wines Pinot Noirs, Chileno Valley offers a core of sweet and sour red fruits with hints of earth and spice. Velvety texture and a fresh finish harmonize to create intensity without brawn. (CELLAR SELECTION - Wine Enthusiast MagazineRated 90-94pts - Exceptional by The Prince of Pinot)

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/ 750ml


Dark ruby in color with translucent edges, the 2012 Chileno Valley Pinot Noir is the boldest expression of this delicate wine yet. Dry farmed, the resulting wine strikes a remarkable balance between the voice of the vineyard and the character of the vintage. Flavors of sweet and sour red fruits, a blend of baker's spices, warm earth and forest floor nestle into nuanced textural elements on the mid-palate. Synergies between the acids and tannins give the wine structure and leave the palate refreshed. Intriguing, harmonious, and in a class all its own.


Situated on the southern border of the Petaluma Gap in Marin County, and bordering Sonoma County to the north, the maritime climate of the Chileno Valley Vineyard is influenced by two bodies of water: the Pacific Ocean along Marin’s west coast, and the San Pablo Bay along its southern flank. While bud break often happens earlier in this area compared with other California grape growing regions, gentle salt-air breezes constantly sweep over Marin's verdant rolling hillsides to provide one of the longest growing seasons in the state. The soils of Chileno Valley Vineyard include patches of the Steinbeck soil series and eroded sandstone, offering a complex fruit profile and minerality.


The Pinot Noir was hand-harvested into half-ton picking bins and brought directly to the winery, where dry ice was feathered into the bins to prevent spoilage and oxidation. The bins were then placed in cold storage for a 24-hour resting period before being hand-sorted. Whole-cluster fermentation of one quarter of the grapes contributed to the bright flavor and complex taste profile. The grapes received a cold soak for seven days to extract maximum color from the skins, while the chill prevented the start of fermentation. The fruit was then removed from refrigeration, warming and activating the native yeasts. One gentle punch down per day minimized tannin extraction from the skins, allowing the stems to provide the wine’s structure. The grapes were then pressed, and the wine was gravity-fed into eight French oak barrels -- one new, and the rest neutral. The wine received neither racking, nor fining, nor filtering.


Variety 100% Pinot Noir
Vineyard Chileno Valley Vineyard, Marin County
Production 193 cases
Optimal Maturity 2014-2020
Harvested Oct 2, 2012
Barrel Aging 11 Months, 15% new French Oak
Alcohol 13.8%
Acidity 6.8g/L
Winemaker Jon Grant

Wine Specs

Vintage 2012
Varietal Pinot Noir
Appellation Marin County