LCBO Vintages Release
In the early 1990’s, after 15 years of making world-class Bordeaux varietal wines, Dan and Margaret Duckhorn opted to embrace their love of Pinot Noir. Their vision for Goldeneye was simple, but not easy: produce terroir-expressing California Pinot of equal stature to the acclaimed Merlots they pioneered at Duckhorn Vineyards in Napa Valley. They weighed the options available in the Russian River Valley, Sonoma Valley, and Carneros, then jumped in feet-first. The result is Goldeneye.
Goldeneye is a standalone winery in the Anderson Valley, north of Napa Valley, on the cool-climate edge of modern California viticulture. The soil is clay-rich, and the marine-influenced climate is characterized by mild days, fog, and cooling winds. Pinot Noir is happiest on the margins, and here, the grape expresses intense varietal purity and an intimate sense of place. Today, Goldeneye features the appellation’s preeminent Pinot Noir programs, including four estate vineyards and more than 200 acres planted to vines.
Having experienced the earliest start to harvest ever (August 13th), picking the grapes this early ensured that the fruit avoided the mid-October weather, when it can get very cold and wet in the Anderson Valley. After three vintages in a row of big crops, yields returned to near average levels, with the grapes showing phenomenal quality and purity. Because of the crop size and the early harvest, the winery had the luxury of picking all of their grapes at ideal physiological ripeness. As a result, the 2015 shows all of the hallmarks of great Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, with equal parts lushness and beauty, mixed with savory notes, and a touch of wildness.
Fermented in over 200 individual lots (roughly one fermentation for every acre farmed), Goldeneye Pinot Noir exemplifies the old adage: “If you’re going to do one thing, do it well”. Charming yet wild, plush yet rustic, this captivating Pinot Noir balances layers of cherry, ripe cranberry, and wild blackberry with notes of leather, earth, and spice. Aged 16 months in French oak (55% new), it carries through to a velvety finish.
“This is a full-bodied, ripe and mouthfilling wine that offers generous black-plum and black-cherry flavours, a smooth texture and a lingering finish. The aroma is nicely spiced in new oak accents that meld well with the black fruits on the palate.”
91 points, Wine Enthusiast, July 2018