Freixenet USA has unveiled the first wine from its new luxury wine brand WindVane.
The brand is an homage to “the wind that contributes to the unique character of the wines of Western Carneros,” the company says.
The first wine from the new brand is 2014 WindVane Carneros Reserve Pinot Noir (SRP: $80). It’s a blend of Pinot Noir from some of the “windiest and most devigorated vineyard blocks” from throughout the east-facing, 335-acres of estate vineyards located in one of the westernmost areas of the Carneros Appellation of Northern California.
Only 100 cases of the WindVane Carneros Reserve Pinot Noir have been produced and will be available in select accounts in California and New York. In 2017, approximately 3,000 cases of WindVane Estate Grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir will be released nationally.
Like the flagship wines of Freixenet USA’s Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards, WindVane has not been in the making overnight. Steven Urberg, who also leads the winemaking for Gloria Ferrer, was given complete creative control to create WindVane. Urberg was “intrigued by some of the windiest vineyard blocks on the 30 year-old Carneros estate” where the stress from gusts coupled with the steep, rocky, thin soils, allow for slower ripening, intense flavor developmeant and high levels of acidity in the grapes, the company says.
All grapes for the 2014 WindVane Reserve Pinot Noir were handpicked, destemmed, partially crushed and cold-soaked for two days in small open tanks to extract color and fruit flavors. Post fermentation, the wines was aged in a handful of select French oak barrels, 40 percent new, for nine months.
The result is a Pinot Noir that “balances plush dark fruit and a savory and complex mouthfeel, with elegance, subtle power and a firm backbone,” the company says.