Founded by husband and wife team Sarah and Chris Pittenger in 2009, Gros Ventre is a small, family-owned winery operating out of the Sierra Foothills. They produce less than 1,000 cases of vineyard-designated wines such as Pinot Noir from the True Sonoma Coast and Anderson Valley, along with several new wines from the burgeoning wine region of El Dorado, where Chris is also the winemaker for “Rhone-varietal” winery Skinner Vineyards.
Gros Ventre 2015 “First Born” Pinot Noir
GGWC 64.99 net
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Robert Parker 95+ Points: “Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2015 Pinot Noir First Born has pronounced notes of crushed black cherries, fresh raspberries and pomegranate with touches of roses, menthol, black soil and fungi. Medium-bodied and delicately crafted with a firm frame of very ripe, very fine-grained tannins and seamless freshness, the red fruit and earthy layers give way to a good, long, perfumed finish. 118 cases produced.”
Winemaker Notes: “First Born is Gros Ventre’s flagship cuvée – a barrel selection of the best lots in a given vintage. The 2015 is comprised of 5 barrels sourced from an undisclosed vineyard in the Fort-Ross Seaview AVA, plus a single barrel of Campbell Ranch Vineyard (Annapolis). First Born is typically the boldest, most fruit-laden wine, but also shows some of the brightest acidity. This is the first year we’ve ever put 60% new oak in any wine, but this dense and structured beast called for it and is reveling in our decision. It chews up the new French oak and subtly integrates it with dark red and blue fruit notes, plus Asian 5-spice, orange peel, clove, and vanilla bean. The palate is flooded with fruit tannins, and finishes with a mouth-watering acidity.”
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