Casas del Bosque Gran Reserva Pinot Noir 2022
On the nose aromas of strawberries and raspberries combine with darker fruit such as blackberries and plum. Tertiary, oaky spices in the shape of cinnamon, toasted nuts, a hint of coconut and bourbon. The nose is complex and vibrant with more dark fruit and a violet aroma on the backside. No greenness at all. On palate the wine is medium bodied. Tannins are soft yet grippy. There is structure and potential to evolve, but it could also be enjoyed soon, as warmer vintages impart a moderate acidity. Ideal service at 57-61°F with foods with a touch of spice, such as crispy duck pancakes, pulled pork or seared salmon. Pâtés and terrines. Cooked beetroot or fig based dishes. Goat cheese. Perfect
paring with mushroom risotto.
Casas del Bosque´s own vineyard is located within the coolest, westernmost reaches of the Casablanca Valley, at about 250 meters of altitude, and just 18 kilometers away from the ocean. These grapes are grown on hillside blocks facing from north-east to north-west, all of them planted between 2000 and 2010 and equipped with drip irrigation. The soils are red, iron-rich and granitic, and crop levels average 5 tons/hectare (2.5 tons/acre).Upon harvest, all fruit is destemmed and cold soaked for 3-4 days. Spontaneous fermentation occurred in open-topped tanks, with the vats being handplunged twice every day. The total cuvaison was two weeks at most. Malolactic fermentation was induced inoculating the wine with selected lactic bacteria. The young wine was drained to new (15%) and second use (10%), water-bent American barrels for 10 months. 12% of the final blend fermented into concrete vessel. The wine was then racked and kept in tank, clarified with inactivated yeasts until ready for filtration and bottling. A total of 2.800 cases were made.
Casablanca Valley is a wonderful place for cool climate varieties, but the 2021-2022 growing season was a challenging one because of the hot summer. With that in mind, the winemaking team at Casas del Bosque decided to dial back on the oak usage that traditionally characterizes the Gran Reserva line, in order to better showcase the fruit quality of this Pinot Noir. The hillside nature of the blocks harvested prevent the direct impact of the ocean winds that cool down the valley, resulting in a ripe expression of the variety that still reflects an interesting acidity and minerality.
Frequent foggy mornings, warm days and cool nights characterize the valley. The average temperatures in summer are 66°F and in winter 51.3ºF. Mean diurnal shifts in March border the 55.6ºF. Yearly rainfall is around 380 mm, falling mostly between May and September. The 2021 winter was dry (only 100mm of rains), followed by a warm summer, and then a rather cool beginning of the fall season. The fruit was hand harvested by the beginning of April.