“Reserve” is a title that is thrown around pretty liberally in the wine industry, often without a whole lot of meaning. Most terms on a wine label have solid statistics or legal requirements behind them. For the wine to be called Pinot Noir, it needs to be at least 75% of that varietal. To list an official AVA like Arroyo Seco, at least 85% of the grapes have to come from within that appellation’s boundaries. But “Reserve” in the U.S. has no such definition, no required components. For the most part, it is simply a marketing moniker.
Until now. “The Reserve” is Blair Estate’s ultimate Pinot Noir. Everything about this wine is exceptional. “The Reserve” designation here has real meaning. Simply put, it is hand selected from the very best vines each vintage – held in “reserve” for special treatment and special occasions.
Here’s an excerpt from my vineyard log book from the 2014 vintage: “October 10. Walking Delfina’s, I left the refractometer behind and hand sampled for the very best grapes. Trusting my palate, I selected just enough fruit for five barrels worth of truly exceptional Pinot Noir. Clone 115 came from rows 15 thru 18. Rows 54 thru 57 gave us Clone 777. In 2014 we added Clone 667 from rows 44 & 45. And Pommard 4 came off the north blocks rows 31 & 32 and the south block’s rows 71 through 74.” These were the grapes destined for this second ever “The Reserve” release.
Only 125 cases were produced of Blair Estate 2014 “The Reserve.” The 2014 "The Reserve has recieved 92 Points from Wine Enthusiast Magazine and a Double Gold from the 2018 New Orleans Interanational Wine Competition. This is the Blair family’s ultimate statement in Pinot Noir from the Arroyo Seco – clearly putting the vineyard and the appellation on the map with California’s very best PN locales.
Respectfully, Jeffrey Blair