Project Description

2017 Niclaire Pinot Noir

California AVA

Tasting Notes

“Deep red hue. Brilliant scents of roasted strawberry, French oak spice, and ripe cherry are the first impression of this wine. Then a second wave of aromas show hints of jasmine, marmalade, vanilla bean, crème brulee, and orange zest. These same qualities remain in the palate, with an abundance of red fruits, roasted strawberry, and oak spice. While the palate offers deep and pleasuring tannins, the youthful acidity helps to preserve freshness in this hedonistic blend of Pinot Noir. This wine ends with a very long, densely layered finish, all the while oozing with complexity. Enjoy now through 2028.”

~Bill Brosseau, Director of Winemaking

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Beautiful garnet color; spicy cherry nose; silky texture, juicy, crisp style with lovely hints of vanilla and new oak; smooth cherry fruit and a tangy, fresh finish.

Anthony Dias Blue
The Somm Journal
April 2019

 

Production Data

Growers: Various
Winemaker: Bill Brosseau
Appellation: California AVA
Barrel Aging: 17 months
Cooperage: 100% French Oak, 50% new
Production: 21 barrels
Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Acidity: 6.54 g/L – 3.36 pH
Alcohol: 14.4%
Harvest: Various
Club Release: July 2018

Consume Now through 2028

Past Vintage Wine Scores

“Bright ruby color; soft plum and berry nose; smooth, lush texture; ripe cherry and berry fruit, meaty and rich with balance and depth; complex and long.”

Anthony Dias Blue
The SOMM Journal
June 2018

“This year’s edition of Niclaire, Testarossa’s self-described “best of” Pinot bottling is a wine whose precision, structural integrity and fruity depth lend plenty of credence to the winery’s claims. It teases with succulent cherries enough on the nose to suggest that it is ready for drinking, but what follows on the palate is a very solid, fairly firm, impeccably balanced wine that, while living up to its aromatic promises of purity and depth, is still in its infancy and demanding of age. That it has special places to go is beyond any doubt, and, if another two years seems a minimum wait, we would opt for at least five.”

Charles Olken & Steve Elliot

Connoisseur’s Guide
June 2017

“As its price might suggest, this is not a wine to dismiss because of its simple California appellation, and it is, in fact, Testarossa’s limited special bottling drawn from its finest Pinot Noir barrels. It is infused with a wealth of very rich oak, yet it remains solidly fruity throughout its very considerable length, and, while a big, mouthfilling wine of immense stuffing, it is very well-structured and certain to improve for many years. It is arguably a bit lacking in finesse at this point, but it is not a wine meant to be drunk down in haste and its riveting richness will be met by refinement as time slowly passes. ”

Charles Olken & Steve Elliot

Connoisseur’s Guide
June 2016

“Named after Rob and Diana Jensen’ childen, Nick and Claire, there’s a little under 400 cases of the 2013 Pinot Noir Niclaire and it’s another fresh, lively, medium to full-bodied effort from this estate that delivers incredible quality. Cassis, black raspberry, sappy underbrush and spice-box all flow from this pure, lively and balanced 2013, and it has nicely integrated tannin and good acidity. Drink it anytime over the coming 6-7 years.”

Jeb Dunnuck

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

“Made from the best ten barrels in the winery, the 2012 Pinot Noir Niclaire is a gorgeous, rich and layered effort that knocks it out of the park with its cassis and blackberry fruit, vanilla bean and licorice-driven aromas and flavors. Not losing a beat on the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied and concentrated, with ripe tannin and a great texture. Seeing 10.5 months in 63% new French oak, it should evolve nicely for just under a decade.”

Antonio Galloni

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

“There were eight barrels of the 2011 Pinot Noir Niclaire produced and, as with the Diana’s release in the white, it was made from the top barrels in a vintage. Coming from Garys’, Doctor’s, Fogstone and Pisoni vineyards, it shows a darker fruit slant with notions of red currants, blackberry, crushed flowers, underbrush and rose petal all soaring from the glass. Medium-bodied, supple and with beautiful purity and elegance, as well as building richness, it’s one of the top Pinot Noirs in the vintage and should have a decade of ultimate longevity. Drink 2014-2021. Founded in 1993 by Rob and Diana Jensen, with the wines made by Bill Brosseau, Testarossa Winery is located just outside of Los Gatos (just south of San Jose) and pulls grapes from a star-studded cast of vineyards throughout the central coast. All of the wines have beautiful purity of fruit and classical, perfectly made profiles. They also remain reasonably priced given the quality.”

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
August 2013

“Awesomely rich in black cherries, plums, licorice, mocha, cola and sweet oak flavors. Made from selected barrels of the winery’s various vineyards around the state, its richness is balanced by brisk acidity and a soft scour of tannins. Drink over the next six years.”

Steve Heimoff

Wine Enthusiast

“Absolutely delicious. Although it’s a bit full bodied and heavy for a Pinot Noir, it’s stunningly good, offering wave after wave of berry, cherry, orange peel, spice and oak flavors, with interesting side notes of mushrooms, cola, cocoa and licorice. The California appellation is because the wine is a best barrel blend from Testarossa’s vineyards up and down the state. Drink now–2015.”

Steve Heimoff

Wine Enthusiast

“Testarossa reserves their most expensive wines to a best-barrels blend that usually bears a statewide appellation, a practice that is rare if not unique among California wineries. The ’07 Niclaire is vast in currants, rhubarbs, cola and cedar, with sizable but finely meshed tannins, and the tart acidity that marks all of the winery’s 2007 Pinot Noirs. It’s drinkable now, but just barely, so decant. But will benefit from up to six years in the cellar.”

Steve Heimoff

Wine Enthusiast

“Of all Testarossa’s 2006 Pinots, this is the most complex, and also the most ageworthy. Offers a flood of cherry, red currant, Dr. Pepper, raspberry, licorice, vanilla cookie and oaky spice flavors that are fantastically intense and interesting. Interestingly, this bottling is one of Testarossa’s highest-alcohol Pinots. Great now and for a good six more years.”

Steve Heimoff

Wine Enthusiast

“A best barrels blend of the winery’s various vineyards, which are numerous throughout California, Niclaire shows a balance and elegance that prove Pinot doesn’t have to come from a single vineyard to be great. The ’05 is a delicious wine, soft and gentle and rich in flavor, yet dry and balanced. It fills the mouth with cherry pie, cassis, cola, Asian spice and smoky oak flavors that last long on the finish. This is a real crowd-pleaser, but it’s not an ager. Drink now.”

Steve Heimoff

Wine Enthusiast

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The Pinot Report

“The California appellation is because the wine is made from three Santa Lucia Highlands vineyards and Bien Nacido. It’s a really good wine. The cool vineyards give it brisk acidity, while the ripe grapes lend deep flavors of cherries and black raspberries. Oak does its spicy, complexing thing. Shows Pinot’s translucent, elegant, silky texture.”

Steve Heimoff

Wine Enthusiast

2017 Niclaire Pinot Noir – Barrel Composition

Barrel Vineyard (Clone) Cooper Type
17374 Brosseau (Pommard/Mt. Eden) Billion Extra Tight Grain
17227 Doctor’s (115) Mercurey Light and Long
17196 Doctor’s (115) Remond Medium Toast Long
17104 Doctor’s (113) François Frere Medium Toast
17266 Doctor’s (Jackson 16) Seguin Moreau Medium Toast Long
16451 Doctor’s (Calera) Cadus Medium Toast
16276 Doctor’s (Calera) François Frere Medium Toast
17144 Doctor’s (Calera) Remond Medium Toast Long
17181 Doctor’s (Calera) Remond Medium Toast Long
17093 Fogstone (115) François Frere Medium Toast
17102 Fogstone (115) François Frere Medium Toast
17231 Fogstone (113) Mercurey Light and Long
15548 Fogstone (113) Seguin Moreau Medium Toast Long
17075 Fogstone (Pommard/114) François Frere Medium Toast
17051 Garys’ (Pisoni) François Frere Medium Toast
17338 Garys’ (Pisoni) Louis Latour Medium Toast
17014 La Rinconada (4) François Frere Medium Toast
17080 Pisoni (Pisoni) François Frere Medium Toast
17174 Rosella’s (Pisoni) Remond Medium Toast Long
16175 Rosemary’s (96) François Frere Medium Toast
16318 Sanford & Benedict (Calera) Seguin Moreau Medium Toast Long
17245 Sanford & Benedict (Calera) Mercurey Light and Long
17091 Tondre (777) François Frere Medium+ Toast
16248 Tondre (777) Taransaud Tight Grain
16270 Tondre (777) François Frere Medium Toast

California AVA

Don’t let the California appellation designation fool you, our Jensen Reserve Society wines are made from our top selection barrels that come from the best vineyards for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in California, from the Russian River Valley to the north to the Santa Rita Hills to the south.  Each year, Director of Winemaking Bill Brosseau and his team select the top 10-12 barrels from more than a thousand to make this special wine that bares the Jensen Family’s names – the matriarch “Diana’s” and the combination of Nick and Claire for Niclaire. It is our highest achievement in winemaking.

Past Vintages

Wine Production Data

Tasting Notes

“Dark red color. The aroma profile is comprised of fruit, floral, and spice. While shy at first, this youthful Pinot Noir blend shows red cherry, anise, lemon-zest, crème brulee, and boysenberry. After some time, notes of violets, jasmine, and cloves round out the profile. As this wine flows into the palate, these profiles remain consistent and equal in balance. The mouthfeel showcases a voluptuous and lively touch, while maintaining harmony with intensity of texture and flavors. This youthful, plush, and hedonistic blend should continue to deliver enjoyment for many years to come. Enjoy now through 2028.”

~ Bill Brosseau, Director of Winemaking

Production Data

Growers: Various
Winemaker: Bill Brosseau
Appellation: California AVA
Barrel Aging: 17 months
Cooperage: 100% French Oak, 50% new
Production: 21 barrels
Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Acidity: 6.54 g/L – 3.36 pH
Alcohol: 14.4%
Harvest: Various
Club Release: June 2018

Consume Now through 2028

 

Tasting Notes

“Dark red color. Nice aromas of orange zest, ripe cherry, cloves, anise, cranberry, and ripe pomegranate excite the nose. Upon aeration, there are additional notes of boysenberry, jasmine, cocoa, papaya, and vanilla bean. Upon taste, the palate focuses into citrus, floral, and spice elements. Polished tannins provide a seamless mouthfeel while the vibrant acidity give a youthful and bright profile. Intricate, layered, and long are the descriptors for the finish of this multi-vineyard blend. Enjoy now through 2028.”

~ Bill Brosseau, Director of Winemaking

Production Data

Growers: Circle Family
Winemaker: Bill Brosseau
Appellation: California AVA
Barrel Aging:
Cooperage: 100% French Oak, 50% new
Production: 17 barrels
Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Acidity: 6.45 g/L – 3.44 pH
Alcohol: 14.4%
Harvest: Various
Club Release: July, 2017

Consume Now through 2028

 

Tasting Notes

“Deep red color. This youthful Pinot Noir exhibits beautiful tension between bright red fruit and spice. The tension unravels in the form of red cherry, pomegranate and cranberry, which are paired nicely with cloves, custard, anise, and vanilla bean. The youthfulness sails seamlessly into the palate, lending this wine to many years of graceful aging. The lush tannins pleasure the palate while the vibrant acidity cleanses the senses. This multi-vineyard blend ends beautifully with a lingering, smooth, and decadent touch. Enjoy now through 2026. ”

~ Bill Brosseau, Director of Winemaking

Production Data

Growers: Various
Winemaker: Bill Brosseau
Appellation: California AVA
Barrel Aging:  12 months
Cooperage: 100% French Oak, 64% new
Production: 17 barrels
Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Acidity: 6.51 g/L – 3.44 pH
Alcohol: 14.4%
Harvest: Various
Club Release: July, 2016

Consume Now through 2026

 

Tasting Notes

“Dark red hue. Brilliant notes of cloves, sage, anise, wild thyme, with ever so subtle hints of dark cherry, cranberry, pomegranate, and orange blossoms. While the spices are generous in the nose, there is an intriguing inversion in the palate, with the fruit profile leading the surge in flavor. There is an enjoyable and intricate tannin composition, balanced by a multi-layered texture and subtle French oak. This hedonistic Pinot Noir gains focus on the finish while it lingers for quite some time. Enjoy now through 2027. ”

~ Bill Brosseau, Director of Winemaking

Production Data

Growers: Various
Winemaker: Bill Brosseau
Appellation: California AVA
Barrel Aging:  11 months
Cooperage: 100% French Oak, 58% new
Production: 13 barrels
Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Acidity: 3.44 pH
Alcohol: 14.4%
Harvest: Various
Club Release: July, 2015

Consume Now through 2027

 

Tasting Notes

“Medium red hue.  Initial scents of this ‘best of the best,’ is rightfully shy given its pedigree of age-ability.  Upon some time swirling in the glass, this wine opens up to some subtle notes of pomegranate, raspberry, bing cherry, cloves, vanilla bean, and spice.  As this Pinot Noir enters the palate, there is a surge of complexity, displayed in flavors of cherry, lemon custard, raspberry, and strawberry jam.  While the texture is densely packed with concentration, there is a refreshingly silky, seductive, and smooth experience.  This wine finishes nicely with polished tannins and a lingering fade away.  Drink now through 2021.”

~ Bill Brosseau, Director of Winemaking

Production Data

Growers: Various
Winemaker: Bill Brosseau
Appellation: California AVA
Barrel Aging:  11 months
Cooperage: 100% French Oak, 64% new
Production: 11 barrels
Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Acidity:
Alcohol: 14.4%
Harvest: September, 2013
Club Release: August, 2014

Consume Now through 2021

 

WEATHER HOLD ADVISORY: Please note that due to the fragile nature of wine and the impending winter/summer season, we are unable to ship wines to states whose temperatures have dropped below 32  / risen above 90 degrees on average. Orders will be kept in our temperature controlled cellar until more moderate temperatures are reached. If you feel your area might be impacted, please contact us at clubt@testarossa.com to inquire about shipping options.

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