“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 2017 vintage: “October 17. 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 four barrels worth of truly exceptional Pinot Noir. Clone 115 came from rows 16. Row56 gave us Clone 777. Clone 667 came from row 43. Pommard 4 off the south block row 73. Clone 828 from row 25. Clone 943 from row 3 and "DRC" clone from row 15 .” These were the grapes destined for this second ever “The Reserve” release.
Only 100 cases were produced of Blair Estate 2017 “The Reserve.” The 2017 "The Reserve has recieved 91 Points from Wine Enthusiast Magazine and a Double Gold from the 2022 Denver 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
"Dried cherry and candied berry aromas are elevated by sagebrush and rugged pine needle on the nose of this bottling. Tart cranberry and red-plum-skin flavors are sharp on the palate yet balanced by the rustic earth and meat angles, as bay leaf lingers long into the finish." Matt Kettmann