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El Molino

Owner(s) Jon E. Berlin, Lily Oliver Berlin
Web site www.elmolinowinery.com
 
Link to this site
El Molino

El Molino was founded in 1871 and was one of the first wineries in the Napa Valley. It operated until Prohibition and was restored in 1981. The 66-acre estate Star Vineyard, planted in 1978, is located in a unique microclimate ideal for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Located between Highway 29 and the Napa River, El Molino is just south of Beaulieu No. 1. The owner, Reginald Oliver, passed away in 2005. The current proprietor is daughter Lily Oliver Berlin. The Pinot Noir is aged in 70% new Francois Freres oak. The label is the original design introduced in 1871, displaying the Bale Mill or "El Molino." Year in and year out, the Pinot Noirs are outstanding and truly unique reflecting the terroir of the vineyard. Don't let the name Napa Valley dissuade you as these are wines to treasure.

The grapes are grown at Star Vineyard in Rutherford where the Chardonnay was planted in 1978 and the first Pinot Noir block in 1991. A Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir made from purchased grapes was added in the 2009 vintage. Production is 1,700 cases of wine a year. The wines sell out every year so the best way to acquire is to join the mailing list. Tours and tasting are available by appointment.

Reviewed Wines

2008 El Molino Rutherford Napa Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., 696 cases, $60. One of the first wineries in Napa Valley, founded in 1871. The label is an original design introduced in 1871 displaying the Bale Mill, or “El Molino.” The grapes are grown at the estate Star Vineyard where the first Pinot Noir block was planted in 1991. The proprietors are Lily and Jon Berlin who are winemaking partners as well. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. A mix of dark red and black berry aromas on the nose is complimented by spice and oak. The core of black raspberry and plum fruit really sings on the palate. The wine is well-endowed with ripe tannins, a silky mouth feel, and impressive fruit presence on the long finish. The fruit pushes the ripe/roasted envelope but never crosses the line. This is a terroir-driven feature, as the vineyard site is considered warm by Pinot Noir standards. Very good. Source: www.elmolinowinery.com and some retail distribution. Star Vineyard below. Reviewed February 22, 2012 ARTICLE »

2005 El Molino Rutherford Napa Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $30 ( · Lightly colored. Vivid, fresh black raspberry fruit with an appealing underlying minerality. A hint of raisin and tea adds interest. Nicely weighted with fuzzy tannins and a dry finish. Perfectly fine. Reviewed October 1, 2008 ARTICLE »

2004 El Molino Rutherford Napa Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 873 cases, $60. El Molino was founded in 1871 and was one of the first wineries in the Napa Valley. It operated until Prohibition and was restored in 1981. The estate Star Vineyard, planted in 1978, is located in a unique microclimate ideal for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Proprietors are Lily Oliver and Jon Berlin. The Pinot Noir is aged in 70% new Francois Freres oak. · An interesting and heady Pinot Noir which shows a wide range of flavors and a lengthy finish. A distinctive wine reflecting its unique origins. I have drank the El Molino Pinot Noirs for years and always enjoyed them. Reviewed August 6, 2007 ARTICLE »