Mockingbird Hill Carneros Reserve Pinot Noir 2011
By Jonathan H. Newman*
Mockingbird Hill 2011 RESERVE Carneros Pinot Noir by Mark Beringer
UNIT SIZE: 750.00 ml
VARIETAL: Pinot Noir
GRAPE: Pinot Noir
COUNTRY: United States
ALCOHOL CONTENT: 14.20%
Mark Beringer’s 2011 Mockingbird Reserve Carneros Pinot is 100% Pinot Noir. It is primarily from the well-regarded Henry Road Vineyard, which is in a high elevation, and known for stylized Pinots. The rest of the cuvee is from the El Novillero Vineyard known for more elegant Pinot Noir. Bouchaine and Artesa Vineyards is known for their Henry Road Vineyard wines and wineries like Steele and others get their Pinot Noir from Sangiacomo’s El Novillero Vineyard. A deep ruby red hue. Engaging aromas of vivacious red fruit, including red cherries, strawberry cream, blueberries and milk chocolate. Attractive flavors of mainly dark red fruits including cranberries, black cherries, wild strawberry, and raspberries with touches of cinnamon spice and white flowers. Made in a consumer friendly-style with fresh vibrant fruit and a suave mouth feel. A particularly food friendly wine to pair with creole shrimp, veal chops, roast duckling in a bing cherry sauce, seared ahi tuna and seared salmon. Best enjoyed now through 2018. 490 cases produced.
Mockingbird Hill Reserve Carneros Pinot Noir 2011
Varietal Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Harvest: September-October 2011
Technical Data: Alc. 14.20% by vol; rs: 0.12 g/ml; ta: .53 g/ml; pH: 3.65
Cooperage: Aged 8 months in 100% French oak (30% new)
The 2011 Vintage
The 2011 vintage started off with a relatively dry winter. Early spring was wet and cold and it delayed bud break. The overcast weather was persistent throughout the spring and cool temperatures, rain, and even hail during the bloom caused low yields. The summer was also cool and the verasion did not occur until August. Harvest began almost 4 weeks later than average and a slow pace until the first week of October when the first rain changed the dynamics. The speed to bring in the fruit increased to mitigate the risk of botrytis and other molds. 2011 was by far a challenging vintage. Nevertheless, an intensive care from vineyards to winemaking enabled us to produce stunning wines with remarkable delicacy.
About the Vineyard
We sourced the majority of the grapes from the Carneros Henry Road Vineyard from higher elevations where the soil is sandy, gravel-laden and has excellent drainage and naturally tames the vigor of the vines and as a result Pinot Noir from these blocks display immense concentration and fruit intensity. The remaining fruit come from the El Novillero Vineyard where clay loam soils mixed with rocks and shale produce Pinot Noirs of finesse and elegance.
The Pinot Noir grapes were hand harvested over a several week period from early September to mid-October. As each block achieved ripeness, the grapes were picked, de-stemmed (but not crushed), and then allowed to cold soak for 4 days. After cold soaking, the grapes were allowed to warm up and fermentation was initiated with both selected and indigenous yeasts and allowed to ferment dry. The grapes were then lightly pressed to extract the delicate flavors from the skins. The wine was aged in small French Oak barrels (30% new) for a period of 8 months.
On the nose, this wine offers beautiful bright red fruit and a hint of floral aromas. On the palate, there are undertones of bright raspberry and cherry. The natural acidity gives vibrancy and it is an excellent partner to so many foods; it is medium bodied and has an elegant finish. This is a multifaceted wine with distinct layers of flavor.
[Info provided by J.H.N.]
Winemaker Mark Beringer
Artesa Winery Vice President of Production and Winemaking. A fifth generation winemaker from Napa Valley, award-winning winemaker, Mark Beringer, is proud to continue a family tradition of making high quality wines in California's premier AVA's. As the great, great grandson of Beringer Winery co-founder, Jacob Beringer, Mark has always aspired to make his contribution to California winemaking. He grew up immersed in the wine industry and knew from a very young age that winemaking was his calling. At 12, Mark went to work at his parent's local wine shop stocking shelves and dusting bottles. It was there that he quickly became versed in the complicated language of wine only to discover that all wines are not created equal. Yearning for more hands-on experience, Mark went on to learn the ins and outs of bottling, sanitation, barrel work and harvesting while working at his uncle's winery while attending Santa Rosa JC, and later at California State University, Fresno where he graduated in 1990 with a B.S. in Enology. After graduation Mark joined the winemaking team at Glen Ellen Winery and spent the next year and a half learning the logistical side of winemaking at a larger volume winery. In 1992, Mark was recruited by Dan Duckhorn to join the Duckhorn winery team as an enologist and to provide support to Tom Rinaldi. Mark welcomed the opportunity to return to the type of artisanal winemaking he was so passionate about. When Duckhorn Wine Company decided to expand its portfolio beyond the Bordeaux varieties in 1994, Mark was chosen to head up the project to launch Paraduxx, a unique blend of Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon, followed by Goldeneye, the winery's Burgundy style wines from Anderson Valley. In 1996, Mark was promoted to Vice President of Production and took on the tasks of managing a multi-brand, multi-facility company. In 1998, Mark was named Winemaker and in 2000, was promoted to Director of Winemaking. In 2005, The San Francisco Chronicle named Mark Winemaker of the Year for his work at Duckhorn Vineyards. During Mark's tenure at Duckhorn Wine Company he garnered two Winery of the Year titles from Connoisseurs Guide to California Wine, was named four times Regional Winery of the Year by Wine & Spirits Magazine and won the #6 rated wine of the year in the Wine Spectator's Top 100 of 2002 with the Duckhorn Vineyards 1999 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. In 2008, Mark founded Mark Beringer Consulting, working on a variety of projects within the wine industry before joining Artesa Vineyards and Winery as Vice President of Production and Winemaking in February 2009.
*Jonathan Newman was Wine Enthusiasts’ Man of the Year. He also was Chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, and received national recognition in Marvin Shanken’s Market Watch Magazine and many other international wine publications. He was also awarded the Guild of Sommeliers highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Newman's reviews have been published and quoted extensively online and in print. He travels extensively to many of the major wine growing regions and evaluates many of the wines we source from smaller and boutique wineries. We interact closely with him and the result is his rejection rate of over 96% of the wines evaluated.