2022 Holman Ranch Estate Vineyard & Winery, Pinot Noir “Three Sisters” Estate Grown, Carmel Valley AVA, Monterey County.
The bright ruby hued, freshly youthful and ripely fruit forward, the latest Holman Ranch “Three Sisters” Pinot Noir, due out soon, is already drinking nicely and has beautiful aromatics and textural pleasure, capturing the vintage almost perfectly in the bottle. The ripe, almost creamy, tannins really carry the classic Pinot flavors on and on here, with a lingering core of black cherry, raspberry, strawberry and blood orange fruits on the smooth medium bodied palate, along with subtle oak toast, rose petal, aromatic sage, tea spice, mineral tones and a touch of vanilla. Winemakers Greg and Chris Vita have done a wonderful job in finding balance and depth in these latest Holman releases, especially the Pinots, but also I really enjoyed the Rosé, the Pinot Gris and the “Virgin” Chardonnay, which utilizes cement instead of oak, it is a really exciting version of Chardonnay, highlighting the grape’s purest character, maybe the closest you’ll see to a Carmel Valley Chablis. The Holman property is a picturesque old ranch, some 13 or so miles inland from Carmel Bay and the cold waters of the Pacific, with some higher elevation parcels of vines, on chalky loamy soils with fossilized rock, that see the cooling Ocean breezes and Carmel Valley sunshine, making it nicely situated for making Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Three Sisters Pinot will certainly gain some dimension and depth with more bottle age, though tasty now, and I suggest a bit of patience, maybe even putting a few bottles away for 3 to 5 years.

Made from hand harvested grapes that were carefully sorted in the vineyard and again in the winery, the Holman Ranch Three Sisters Pinot saw a section of Pommard, 777 and Swan clones and a stainless steel fermentation started with vineyard yeast, with about 10% whole cluster, and finished with a selected cultures for primary and malos, before the wine is pressed and racked to barrel, which were 30% new French oak, getting 11 months of elevage. The Holman Ranch Winery, as mentioned, makes a very focused a range of wines, under the guidance of the father and son winemaking team Greg and Cris Vita, which demonstrate the unique characteristics of this hillside property in Carmel Valley, including its rocky soils and coastal climate. The root-stocks and the mix of California heritage and Dijon clones are carefully selected to make the most expressive and distinctive wines. The lineup includes various small bottlings of Pinot Noir and the vineyard includes a good range of seven main Pinot noir clones, these include Calera, Pommard, 828, 667, 777, 115 and Swan selections, with vines coming into full maturity, which the Vita’s have put to good use, in particular here with their 2021 and 2022 releases. The vines are farmed with extra care with organic and sustainable farming practices, avoiding the use of any pesticides or herbicides, to preserve the environment and nature of the site and encourage small yields to enhance richness and depth here. I’ve been impressed with the rise in quality here since I first starting tasting these wines from their 2012 and 2013 vintages, and I recommend visiting their tasting room when you get a chance.
($58 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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