Project Description

2016 Niclaire Pinot Noir

California AVA

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

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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

Somm Journal
Jun 2018

 

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

“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

“Made from selected lots of Testarossa’s various vineyards up and down the state, hence the California appellation, this is also the winery’s most expensive Pinot Noir. Right now, it’s not showing terribly well. There’s something closed and stubborn about it. Partly that’s the tannins and acidity, but mostly it may be because these scattered lots simply haven’t come together yet to make nice. Give it 3–4 years.”

Steve Heimoff

Wine Enthusiast

“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

“Sweet and keenly defined cherry-like fruit is teamed with a full measure of very rich oak first in the nose and the again in the ample flavors of this rounded and somewhat fleshy rendition. A bit of eleventh-hour heat creeps into the finish as a reminder of the wine’s ready ripeness, but unstinting fruit leads the way at the end as it did at the start, and the wine’s fine sense of overall balance is never threatened. ”

Charles Olken & Steve Elliot

Connoisseur’s Guide
September 2006

“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

2016 Niclaire Pinot Noir – Barrel Composition

Barrel Vineyard (Clone) Cooper Type
16351 Brosseau (113) Mercurey Light and Long
16327 Doctor’s (777) Mercurey Light and Long
15024 Doctor’s (Calera) Remond Medium Toast Long
15320 Doctor’s (Calera) Mercurey Light and Long
15029 Doctor’s (Calera) Remond Medium Toast Long
14331 Doctor’s (Calera) Francois Frere Medium Toast
15319 Doctor’s (Calera) Mercurey Light and Long
15304 Fogstone (667) Bel Air Medium Long
16105 Garys’ (Pisoni) Francois Frere Medium Toast
16112 Garys’ (Pisoni) Francois Frere Medium Toast Plus
15177 La Rinconada (4) Francois Frere Medium Toast
15185 La Rinconada (4) Francois Frere Medium Toast
15197 Pisoni (Pisoni) Francois Frere Medium Toast
16096 Rincon (777) Francois Frere Medium Toast
16030 Rosella’s (Pisoni) Remond Medium Toast Long
16123 Rosella’s (Pisoni) Francois Frere Medium Toast
16004 Sanford & Benedict (115) Remond Medium Toast Long
16093 Sanford & Benedict (Calera) Francois Frere Medium Toast Plus
16186 Soberanes (Pisoni) Francois Frere Medium Toast
16081 Tondre (777) Francois Frere Medium Toast
15275 Tondre (777) Francois Frere Medium Toast
15053 Tondre (Pommard) Remond Medium Toast Long

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. 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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