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|Owner(s)||Jon E. Berlin, Lily Oliver Berlin|
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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, first 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, was a president of the Napa Valley Library Association for a number of years, passed away in 2005. The current proprietor is daughter Lily Oliver Berlin and her husband Jon 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.
2011 El Molino Rutherford Napa Valley Chardonnay
14.4% alc., 856 cases, $60. Grapes are from the estate Star Vineyard. Chardonnay vines planted in 1978. Clones are Wente 4, Stony Hill and Atlas Peak. · Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. Bold aromas of lemon rind, pineapple and toasty oak. Incredible depth of flavor including lemon pudding, yellow peach and burnt caramel. A voluptuous offering with a good tug of oak but a bright vein of acidity keeping the wine in focus. Score: 91. Reviewed May 15, 2014 ARTICLE »
2011 El Molino Rutherford Napa Valley Pinot Noir
14.2% alc., 625 cases, $65. Released April 1, 2014. Very light yields in this vintage. harvest Brix 21.8º-25.7º. Clones 777, 115, 113, DRC, Bouzeron, Pommard 5, Calera, Chalone and Swan. 75% whole cluster. Native yeast fermentation, basket pressed, and aged in 70% new Francois Frères oak. Aged 11 months sur lie before being racked and blended, then aged another 6 months in oak. Bottle aged for 12 months before release. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. This is a cherry-driven wine of much charm and gracious appeal. There are accents of strawberry, balsam, spice, and sassafras with a subtle oak undertone. The tannins are modest and refined, the mouth feel is smooth and polished, and the finish has respectable length. A very elegant offering in this cool vintage. Score: 92. Reviewed May 15, 2014 ARTICLE »
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 »