2014 Center of Effort Pinot Noir Center of Effort

Year: 2014
Appellation: Edna Valley
Country: USA-California
Jeb Dunnuck: 93--Wine Enthusiast: 93
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.4%
Price :

Creme de la Creme

"Coming all from estate vineyard in Edna Valley and aged 20 months in French oak (35% new) with light lees, the 2014 Pinot Noir Center of Effort is gorgeous. Black cherries, framboise, dried earth and assorted spice nuances emerge from this medium-bodied, concentrated, textured Pinot Noir that has fine tannin, a seamless mouth feel and a great finish. I suspect it will keep for a decade or more.

This terrific estate is in the Edna Valley and they specialize in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Their “Effort” releases are their entry level wines (which are great values), the “Center of Effort” is the flagship/estate cuvee, and they produce a tiny production Chardonnay and Pinot Noir depending on the vintage. Native ferments, moderate amounts of whole cluster, and mostly neutral French oak aging are the name of the game here." (JD)

"This bottling shows deep black plum, elderberry, rose and purple flower aromas. The palate is dense, with black plum and tart cranberry enhanced by Earl Grey tea and potpourri. Thanks to a strong tannic backbone and buoyant acidity, these flavors are interesting now but will meld together more compellingly in the years to come. Drink 2019–2034." (WE)

Winery Notes:
This is the wine which we set out to create, and to which we devote much of our effort and thought. Mid-weight and brimming over with true Pinot Noir character, this is a detailed wine with layers that reveal themselves slowly in the glass. Black cherry and wet stone aromatics. The palate displays ripe plum, black tea, and cola. Evolves slowly; decant and taste over several hours to enjoy the progression of flavors.

The Center of Effort estate vineyard is pitched along south-facing slopes in the western Edna Valley, just 4.5 miles from the Pacific shoreline. The vineyard unfolds along an uplifted ancient dune. The soil is rocky and sandy, in contrast to the thicker clay soils found elsewhere in the valley. The vines achieve natural balance in this ground, with limited vigor and low yields. The lean, sandy soil is ultimately a differentiating factor in our wines, expressing itself with sleek complexity.

The Pinot Noir portion of the vineyard spans 24.5 acres planted at 1,089 vines per acre in 1997. The Pinot Noir blocks are planted to clones Dijon 115, Wädenswil 2A and Mariafeld 23, together contributing natural depth and complexity to the wine. Clone 115 is noted for its powerful structure. Clone 2A brings pure red fruit qualities, while clone 23 adds plushness to the mid-palate.

We aim to craft a Pinot Noir that is true to the vineyard, with a stylistic emphasis on structure, elegance, and complexity. We farm rigorously, on a vine by vine basis, and harvest in sequential passes over an extended period of time. All fruit is picked during the cool nighttime and early AM hours, to ensure that it arrives intact and cold to the crush pad for sorting and processing.

We allow the native yeast strains resident on the fruit and in the vineyard to initiate fermentation naturally and to contribute their own unique signature to the fruit. A multitude of small-lot fermentations are managed entirely by hand – resulting in a huge palette of individual wines from which to select our final blend. A proportion of our fruit is whole-cluster fermented with the stems left intact with the clusters – this technique results in especially spicy, aromatic wines which have become a signature component of our winemaking style. Gentle pressing, a long gradual elevage in new and used French oak barrels and careful blending precedes an unfiltered bottling at approximately 18 months of age.

Tasting Notes:
The terroir of the Edna Valley truly comes to life in this bottling. Showcasing a classic Pinot Noir nose of orange peel and Montmorency cherries, this wine expresses the land in which our vineyard lies. The palate is mid-weight with ripe plum, cocoa dust and a balancing freshness. Earthy notes of new leather and faint campfire lead to a lengthy finish. To enjoy the fullest aromatic expression, decant up to an hour before serving.