All Wines / Ancien Wines / 2014 Ancien Wines Mink Vineyard Pinot Noir, Coombsville

2014 Ancien Wines Mink Vineyard Pinot Noir, Coombsville


The Mink Vineyard is located next door to the winery, in the Coombsville Viticultural Area in the southeastern corner of Napa Valley.  Open to the same morning fogs and afternoon breezes that cool Carneros to the west, Coombsville is consistently one of the coolest pockets in Napa.  Mink  sits inside a small “bowl”, allowing cooler air to settle during the evenings, and making Mink’s mesoclimate a couple degrees cooler, even, than the surrounding hills. But the real secret to Mink’s explosive flavors, smooth, mouth-coating minerality, comes from the soil. Underneath is a layer of compressed volcanic ash, called tufa. The tufa drains the top soils, storing moisture in rich clays underneath. The vines are able, with  some work, to grow roots into the tufa layer, accessing moisture during the long, dry growing season. In a typical year, Mink  can be practically dry- farmed.

Timing is everything in life as well as in the vineyard. 2014 marked another year of record-breaking drought, however the year began with adequate soil moisture supported by well-timed rains resulting in an overall pleasant growing season. Warm and moderate weather with plenty of sun ripened grapes completely and made this an early budding and early harvesting vintage. Since everything was basically ready to pick at the same time, this made for an extremely intense harvest of long hours to ensure all the grapes received the attention they needed. Similar to the last two vintages, this year gave us an average sized crop with this one yielding soft, hedonistic wines that showed delicious fruit very early on even in the barrel far before bottling!


The grapes were destemmed into small, one-ton, open-top fermenters, with traditional hand punch downs, and aged the wine in Billon cooperage, a barrel that tends to sit subtly underneath the delicate fruit, lifting aromas without crowding them.  The wines were racked once, gently, prior to bottling.  Grapes, must, and wines were moved using gravity through to the barrel and using inert gas through racking and bottling.

Without sacrificing weight and depth, this wine displays elegance and finesse.  Fruit notes of blueberry, cherries, and huckleberry  dance upon a nose of wet stone. The palate reveals mouthwatering minerality rounded with plum, chocolate and currant, spiced with notes of tobacco. As always, the finish is dominated with  the fine, chalky and mineral tannins coating the entire palate and lingering long into the finish.  A singular California Pinot Noir, displaying the uniqueness of Coombsville.  Drinks well now and will mature with  grace for 8-12 years.

285 cases produced.