Vingt Cinq Ans
2016 Pinot Noir
Napa Valley

2017 Offering
Premiere Napa Valley
Auction 21 | Lot No. 97



Vingt Cinq Ans

Pinot Noir
Napa Valley

5 cases produced


  • Pinot Noir harvested from four revered Napa Valley vineyards, each contributing 25% of the blend
  • Each unique vineyard selection was fermented in separate one-ton vats for a minimum of 25 days
  • Each fermenter punched down by hand 25 times
  • Wine will receive 25 months aging in new French oak before bottling

This Pinot Noir wine is an expression of joy and a celebration of our Silver Anniversary Jubilee! The 2016 harvest unfolds in the full bloom of Ancien Winery’s 25th anniversary. In honor of the relationship between the owners/winemakers, Teresa and Ken Bernards, we bring you an unforgettable Pinot Noir love story to cherish as your own. After daily passes through these four diverse vineyards, the timing of this harvest has culminated in one of the rarest Pinot Noir offerings to ever be produced. This once-in-a-lifetime, five-case offering of Napa Valley Pinot Noir brings with it a histoire d’amour … 25 years in the making.

Ken Bernards

Winemaker, Ancien

Winemaker, Ken Bernards

Rich experience, scientific outlook, artistic insight and continued growth.

In every field and craft, there are practitioners, those who follow the lead of others, and visionaries, those who always seek to push their craft and knowledge to the next horizon. Winemaking is no different, and in this field, Ken Bernards is widely acknowledged to be one of California's visionaries. Since his first harvest in 1986, Ken has remained on the leading edge of winemaking technique in California, using scientific experimentation in the vineyards and in the winery, while at the same time adhering to traditional, small-scale methods of winemaking, always seeking to allow the vineyard's character to speak through the wines. This exemplifies his winemaking philosophy: a delicate and ever-changing balancing act between traditional wisdom, scientific assessment, and artistic insight.

From the start, Ken demonstrated a tenacity for empirical analysis and scientific methods of questioning. During his first harvest (at Domaine Chandon), Ken focused on tracking grape maturity, and later published a paper outlining methods for harvest date forecasting. Upon completing his degree, Ken accepted a position with Domaine Chandon as a research enologist, or experimental winemaker. He was able to design and perform his own experiments in every area of viticulture and enology. During these years, Ken honed his scientific reasoning, learning to isolate cause and effect in the vineyard, in the winery, and, ultimately, in the glass.

Ultimately, though, Ken's passion called for more than just experimentation. He had come to value the importance of being scientific about decisions in the vineyard and in the winery, but a visit to Burgundy spoke to his artistic side, awaking a desire to make his own finished wines full of mystery and nuance, wines that express the individuality of each vineyard. In 1992, Ken made his first five barrels of Ancien Carneros Pinot Noir, marking the beginning an ongoing quest for great Pinot Noirs. He pursued his desire to work on a smaller scale, hand-crafting single-vineyard wines as the winemaker for Truchard Vineyards from 1993-1997.

From 1998 on, Ken has been making his own wines under the Ancien label. At Ancien he works exclusively with Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Noir. This search for great Pinot Noir vineyards has led him to work with fruit from Oregon to Santa Rita Hills, and even from Morey-St-Denis, in the Burgundy region of France.

This same insatiable curiosity continues to lead him to seek out new and challenging opportunities, beyond those presented in his own winery. He has been a pioneer in the Coombsville/Mt. George area in the southeast corner of the greater Napa Valley AVA, and continues to be involved with winemaking, winery design and vineyard planning in regions as diverse as Oregon, California, North Carolina and Chile. All part of his ongoing quest to discover more and more about the science and art of making timeless and expressive wines.

Country born: United States

Years in the wine industry: 20-30 years

Okoboji Wines

2302 165th Street
Spirit Lake  IA  51360


Premiere Napa Valley Wine Collection

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Ancien 2016 Pinot Noir Napa Valley Vingt Cinq Ans 21
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THE GRADE Cellars Non-vintage Cabernet Sauvignon Calistoga A PhenomeNon-Vintage 16
Oakville Ranch Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Franc Oakville Robert's Anniversary Blend 15
Palmaz Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Tortuga 14
Renteria Wines 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Complement Cab Blend 13
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