I have always had an unapologetic love of the Swan clone for pinot noir. The delicateness of this particular clone is mesmerizing. “I’ve always loved this old heirloom clone, “winemaker Steve Rogstad says. “It is a very delicate, elegant wine, with a lighter color. Stylistically it is more defined by its poise and grace than its power.” That poise is expressed in charming notes of black cherry, light strawberry, black currant, rhubarb, thyme, Alpine wildflowers and hints of ginger and black pepper spice. The fruit is derived solely from a single block of estate grown Swan pinot. That Cuvaison still has Swan plantings is to be applauded. These days Swan is used in small amounts for blending, but as this wine shows, the single clone pinot can, and should stand on its own. There was 16 months aging in French oak, of which 33% were new barrels, which causes this to have a deft touch of oak while allowing the exquisite fruit to shine.
ORIGIN: Los Carneros, Napa Valley
PRICE: $65 / 750 ml
SCORE: 93 POINTS