Focused and deliciously complex, our 2012 Aquinas Pinot Noir offers aromas of cherry reduction, strawberry, vanilla and subtle clove notes. On the palate, this medium-bodied wine is full of fresh cranberry flavors with intricate notes of raspberry tart and toasted marshmallow. The tannins are nicely integrated and ripe, making room for plenty of lively acidity that lingers through the expressive finish. This well-balanced Pinot Noir is an exceptional food pairing wine. Enjoy it with a variety of cuisines and dishes, most notably fennel crusted roast pork loin, wild mushroom pizza or fresh ziti with garden grown vegetables and goat cheese.
Napa Valley is recognized as one of the top wine regions in the United States and it’s not surprising. It’s unique for the diversity of its soils found in such a small geographical area. Bordered by two mountain ranges, the valley stretches approximately 30 miles north to south, one mile east to west at its narrow northern end and five miles at its widest point near the town of Napa. Its maritime climate of warm days and cool nights coupled with deep, yet not excessively fertile, soils makes it ideally suited for the cultivation of ultra-premium grapes. The first grapes were planted here in 1838, and today Napa accounts for four percent of California’s total wine production, focusing primarily on the top-end of the wine market.
The majority of this wine is cultivated from Herrick Ranch Vineyard, located in Northern Yountville alongside a running creek. The cooler climate of this particular area allows for good hang-time and rich, well-developed flavors. We harvested approximately 80 tons from Herrick this year, representing the majority of our 2012 Aquinas Pinot Noir blend.
Having weathered two excessively cool and wet vintages in 2010 and 2011 which reduced yields and made it difficult for grapes to fully ripen, Napa winemakers had much to rejoice about in 2012. Idyllic conditions throughout the growing season ensured a bountiful crop of picture perfect grapes across all varietals. A perfect spring bud break, followed by a steady flowering, an even fruit set, and just the right amount of warm sunny days and cool foggy nights, ensured that grapes enjoyed the extended hang time needed to fully develop. The fruit that emerged was ideally balanced, dark, richly structured and age worthy, with great color saturation, and sweet tannins. Napa Valley vintners are already heralding 2012 as one of those special “collectible” years to watch.
Don Sebastiani, Sr. learned about St. Thomas Aquinas in his studies and travels, and was inspired by the way that he brought together two dissident ideas, using scientific method to try to prove the existence of a “higher being.” In much the same way, Don knew it was possible to bring together the idea of a classic, excellent Napa Valley wine with affordability and accessibility that most Napa Valley wines lack. Wine is a pleasure that all should enjoy, and wine from the acclaimed Napa Valley should be no exception.