Guided by the steady hands of acclaimed Winemaker David Lattin and Assistant Winemaker Keith Hammond, every step in the evolution of an Emeritus Vineyards Pinot Noir is thoughtfully considered to create place-driven wines of unparalleled elegance and integrity. Made in the most gentle and sustainable way possible, we strive to craft wines that are delightfully distinct and balanced, while honoring the vintage and the vineyards they come from.
From night harvesting to hand sorting for only the finest clusters and grapes to destemming directly to tank, we take the utmost care to preserve the purity of our fruit before fermentation begins. Once destemmed, the grapes soak at cool temperatures to extract ideal color, aromas, and fresh fruit flavors. As native yeasts begin to grow and the temperature of the must gradually increases, we carefully guide the fermentation process with gentle punch-downs to extract character from the skins while working to create supple tannins. At dryness, we keep the prized free-run wine separate from the press wine, and use gravity to fill our hand-selected French oak barrels.
These barrels come from three renowned French tonneliers (barrel makers) that we have partnered with for many years. Like Emeritus, our tonneliers are multigenerational family-owned businesses with exacting standards of quality and craftsmanship. We also partner with French merrandiers (or stave producers), to source wood from the regions and forests that best suit our wines, while constantly evaluating seasoning and toast levels to artfully frame the charm and character of our vineyards.
After the completion of the secondary (malolactic) fermentation, barrel tasting begins. Led by David and Keith, our team tastes and evaluates every barrel of wine in our cellar multiple times to assess wine-wood interactions, the evolution of flavors, and to begin determining the blends for each of our Pinot Noirs. Once the blends are complete—which can take multiple trials—the wines are racked from barrel, leaving 4 gallons behind to ensure that only the purest wines go into the blending tank. From there, our wines are bottled without fining or filtration to preserve the elegance, nuance and complexity that define an Emeritus Vineyards Pinot Noir.
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