Pinot Noir Rules at Laetitia


Last week I presented Laetitia and NADIA wines to a delightful group at the 2016 American Wine Society Conference in Costa Mesa, CA. What a privilege to have been invited back to address this important conference on behalf of our wines.

I love talking about Laetitia and sharing what makes us special. To this end, we compared three very different 2014 Pinot Noir based wines: Brut Rosé, the Whole Cluster, and the Pinot Noir Reserve. (Available for you in our Thanksgiving 3-Pack)

We have 400 acres (that’s a lot) devoted to ten different clones of Pinot Noir grapes planted on rocky, volcanic limestone soils. Preparing for the talk, I drew on many of the discussions we’ve had about our expertise and the depth of our commitment to the Pinot Noir varietal.

I looked over the Karen McNeil’s Wine Bible, and reread our head winemaker Eric’s fabulous recent explanation of the difference between our Pinot Noir Whole Cluster and Pinot Noir Reserve. I also caught up with Dave Hickey on the method to his madness when he creates the Brut Rosé (a Wine Spectator favorite as well as mine) and asked him these questions.

Tell me about the blend in the 2014 Brut Rosé?

For the 2014 blend I used 66% Chardonnay and 34% Pinot Noir. The Chardonnay that I use has notes of citrus and the Pinot Noir must be rich and lacking any harsh elements.

What characteristics are you looking for?

The Chardonnay is brisk, fresh, and elegant. The Pinot Noir base wine imparts richness and earthiness with delicate red-fruit aromas and flavors. The red Pinot Noir is fruity and bright with soft tannins.

How much still wine do you add?

Between 4.5% and 5.5%. The Red Pinot Noir is quite powerful compared to the base wines that I make. As I test various blends I’m looking for a point where the red Pinot is presented in a most beautiful and delicious manner, but is in no way overpowering (imagine a sparkling wine made from 100% red Pinot – not a good thing).

What about that great salmon color?

The salmon color comes from the red Pinot added to the blend. When the wines are first blended prior to bottling the color is actually bright pink. As the wine ages and matures it shifts to the salmon color that sparkling Rosé is known for, with that shift in color comes the more mature flavors and aromas that we have come to love in a classic Rosé bubbly.

And of course the bubbles?

Tiny bubbles – oh how we love them! The entire process of blending, fermenting in the bottle. and aging the wines en tirage (with the yeast in the bottle) all comes together to make those incredible bubbles that dance on the palate, and liven the spirit! YUM!

Sounds delicious Dave I’d love some now please!  How about you?

Enjoy the way “Pinot Noir Rules at Laetitia” and taste our AWS conference wines.  Try our Thanksgiving 3-pack of Laetitia 2014s: Pinot Noir Whole Cluster, Pinot Noir Reserve and the Brut Rosé. This offer is available for one week only.

You never know where life will take you.


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