A string of superb vintages for California Pinot Noir includes 2014, the vintage of this first release of Smoke Tree Pinot Noir. Sourced from up to forty different plots across four main regions: the Petaluma Gap, the hillsides above San Francisco Bay, the shallow clay soils of Carneros and the rolling hills of Russian River Valley. Primarily made up of Dijon Clone vines that were planted at high density in the 90's, these vineyards bear modest yields and even ripening.
The grapes were fermented in open top fermenters, with 10% of the lots retaining whole clusters. A long, cool fermentation allowed for balanced extraction and retention of delicate aromas. The wine was then aged for 10 and a half months in oak. It shows tones of dark cherry and spice, a silky and well-framed palate and persistent finish. It is pure to the varietal character, savory and refined with beautiful balance and a modest 13.5% alcohol. Wine Enthusiast Magazine scored this 90 points and said "Made by longtime Domaine Chandon still-wine Winemaker Joel Burt, this red offers delicious value, sourcing from sites within the Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros AVAs. Coolness and restraint are the guides, the wine light in color and texture, with just touches of spice, strawberry and tea. It finishes juicy, with a citrus flair."