Pinot Noir

Kingston Family makes two Pinot Noirs: our flagship Alazan, and the more affordable Tobiano. The wines are made from blends of different blocks and different lots that are barrel-selected in the winery, just prior to bottling. Our winemaker selects the finest lots to make Alazan, and the next tier is used to make the Tobiano.

Our pinot noirs come from several different blocks in our vineyard. We work with several clones—777, which traces its origins back to Morey St. Denis, Valdivieso (a shot berry clone that is similar to Swan in the U.S.), Kingston "Grande" and Kingston "Chico", which are our own selections of Valdivieso and Concha y Toro (a small-clustered clone with a lot of color and tannin but less charm than the Valdivieso or 777).

Once we harvest our Pinot Noir grapes, we give them a long (5+ day) cold soak to extract more color and flavor while moderating the tannins. Using mostly native yeast, we ferment the grapes in a combination of 1-ton bins and 3- to 5-ton open top tanks, with pump overs and punch downs as needed.

After the alcoholic fermentation, the wine goes directly to barrel off the skins, keeping the press wine separated. The wines then go through malolactic fermentation in the barrel, using indigenous bacteria.

We only use French oak for our barrels from a combination of coopers including Ermitage, Dargaud Jaegle, and Taransaud, with mostly medium (not heavy) toast. While it varies from year to year, Tobiano gets 15% new oak, while Alazan uses about 30%. We don’t rack the wines until we assemble the blends just prior to bottling. This is done right before the next harvest.

Acres
80
Soil
Red clay loam with decomposed granite
Clones
777
Field Selections
Valdivieso
Concha y Toro
Kingston Grande
Kingston Chico
Roots
95% own-rooted, 5% root stock
Production
Alazan (450 cases per year)
Tobiano (647 cases per year)
CJ's Barrel (150 cases per year)
Cuartel 8D (109 cases per year)
Varietal Composition
100% Pinot Noir
Alcohol
12.5%-13.5%
Type of oak
French
Months in oak
10 months
 
Alazan
94 pts Descorchados, 2018 Alazan 
93 pts Tim Atkin, 2018 Alazan
92 pts James Suckling, 2018 Alazan
90 pts Wine Enthusiast,2018 Alazan
92 pts Descorchados, 2017 Alazan
93 pts Tim Atkin, 2017 Alazan
92 pts James Suckling, 2017 Alazan
90 pts Wine Enthusiast, 2017 Alazan
Tobiano
91 pts Tim Atkin, 2019 Tobiano 
92 pts Descorchados, 2018 Tobiano 
91 pts Guía de Mesa, 2018 Tobiano
91 pts James Suckling, 2018 Tobiano
90 pts Wine Enthusiast,2018 Tobiano
93 pts James Suckling, 2017 Tobiano
91 pts Descorchados, 2017 Tobiano
90 pts Tim Atkin, 2017 Tobiano
 

“The wines are made from blends of different blocks and different lots that are barrel-selected in the winery”