2016 “The Shop” Carneros Pinot Noir:
The 2016 Shop may be the most exciting Shop I have made to date, because it has an energy that is extremely rare in Carneros wines. It is even slightly nervy when first opened and needs time to calm down. That’s why I released it a little later than usual.
I often say that a wine has to be ugly before it can be pretty and that sums up my experience watching the 2016 Shop develop in the cellar prior to bottling. It was angular and funky all through the winter, as it went through malolactic fermentation. I could see underneath that it had great fruit concentration and was going to be a good wine eventually, but it was a bit of a nail biter. Definitely needed to invoke the old saying that if you don’t like the way your wine is tasting, don’t taste it so often!
The 2016 Shop was raised in a combination of 228 and 300 liter barrels and concrete, and in the concrete the wine was especially funky. After blending in the summertime the wine began to resolve, but when the wine went into bottle in the summer of 2017, it was still wound pretty tight. It was only after about 18 months in bottle that it blossomed, as if to say, “OK, now I am ready.” In addition to the usual dark Carneros fruits, there is an iron or mineral streak that adds interest. Give it a little air and it will really sing.