The grapes for this dramatically rich Pinot Noir come from our estate vineyard near Boonville in the southern end of Anderson Valley, which follows the Navarro River as it drains into the Pacific Ocean at Albion on the Mendocino Coast. The southern section of the valley experiences cool, foggy mornings, but warm late afternoons. For this reason, we carefully plotted row direction in planting the vineyard, to ensure the vines would not be overexposed to sunlight during the hottest hours of the day. Another important facet of our Anderson Valley vineyard is its six, high-quality French clones of Pinot Noir, which yield small-berried grapes with intense, concentrated flavors and ripe tannins. These special clones enable us to produce an Anderson Valley Pinot Noir of uncommon depth, richness and complexity.
The cool 2006 growing season began with a wet winter, which delayed bud break and led to late flowering of the vines. Good weather arrived in June, only to be followed by a sustained heat wave in July. Cooler weather returned in August and continued throughout the harvest season, resulting in a long grape ripening period that fostered ripe fruit flavors balanced by bright acidity in our Anderson Valley grapes, which were harvested between September 19th and 25th.
We fermented each of our six Anderson Valley Pinot Noir clones separately to optimize their distinctive personalities, with 15% fermenting with native yeasts from the vineyard. Prior to fermentation, each lot received a three-day cold soak to gently extract color and tannin while accentuating Pinot Noir’s fruit-forward character. In traditional Burgundian fashion, the juice fermented in open-top tanks with gentle, manual punch-down of the cap. After fermentation completed, the wines macerated on the skins for another two weeks, with daily assessments of color and tannin development. We then gently drain the free run wine from the skins and age it in French oak barrels. The 2006 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir aged 15 months in French oak, 45% new, before being bottled in December, 2007.
Our 2006 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir is decidedly masculine in style with ripe, dense aromas of earthy blackcurrant, black plum and spicy brambleberry fruit mingled with pronounced dark chocolate and roast coffee scents. On the palate, the wine is big, rich and concentrated with intense, spicy black fruit and dark chocolate flavors bolstered by ripe, mouth-coating tannins. Delicious now with hearty fare, this big, strapping Pinot Noir will soften and gain further complexity with another 3 to 5 years of bottle age.
100% Pinot Noir
Total Acidity: 0.55g/100ml
9/19/2005 to 9/25/2006
15 months in French oak, 45% new