Lime Kiln Valley is tucked away in the back of a box canyon, perpendicular to the Cienega Valley in San Benito County. The San Andreas
Fault lies barely a mile to the northeast, at the Valley mouth. An active
granite quarry sits a few hundred yards to the west. Abandoned 19th
Century lime kilns dot the hillsides. Quarrymen work a large dolomite
deposit a few miles away. This extreme terroir, with its significant
deposits of limestone, dolomite, and decomposed granite, account for
the potent Enz-ness which infuses any wine from this vineyard. The
Pinot Noir here was grafted onto much older roots in the 1980s.
Farmed organically, and without irrigation, Enz lies at a slightly lower
elevation (1000’) than our two Chalone sites, but shares the same
geology and tectonics that inform its character. An Enz Pinot Noir is
more Enz than it is Pinot Noir, so clear is that expression of place.
Obviously, differences can be discerned between varieties, however
common sensory impressions cannot be denied. While we generally
resist throwing around highly specific tasting notes, the signal sensory
marker of Enz Pinot Noir may be described as licking freeze-dried
watermelon powder off of cool, damp river stones, with a violet liqueur
chaser. We harvested by hand the nights of August 24th and September 1st, and co-fermented native both picks together, including 30%
stems in a single open-top stainless tank. Once primary kicked off, we
gently pumped over until the tank tasted dry, and pressed off down to
old French barriques for a 13 month-long elevage before barrel
selection, racking once, and bottling unfiltered in December of 2022.