Our estate Mendocino County Pinot Noir vineyard lies just north of the small town of Boonville at the southern end of Anderson Valley, a small jewel of a winegrowing region that follows the Navarro River on its path to the spectacular Mendocino coastline. In addition to an ideal climate of cool, foggy mornings, warm late afternoons and chilly evenings, the site boasts six distinctive clones of Pinot Noir that together provide a rich tapestry of varietal flavors, making our Anderson Valley Pinot Noir a marvel of opulence and complexity.
The 2010 growing season began with substantial rainfall, which pushed back bud break, flowering and grape set by several weeks. After an unusually cool summer, heat spikes in late August kick-started ripening. Cool weather returned in early September, but a glorious Indian summer yielded a late harvest of fruit with mature, concentrated flavors, resulting in a bevy of beautifully structured wines. We harvested our Anderson Valley Pinot Noir grapes between September 29th and October 1st with a perfect balance of ripe fruit flavors and crisp balancing acidity.
We night-harvest our Anderson Valley Pinot Noir grapes during the early morning hours when their flavors are optimally fresh and intense. Fermenting each of our six Pinot Noir clones separately maximizes their distinctive personalities and enhances wine complexity. Before fermentation, each clonal lot receives a three-day cold soak to gently extract color and tannin and accentuate Pinot Noir’s fruit-forward personality. In traditional Burgundian fashion, we ferment the juice in small open-top tanks and gently punch down the cap of skins at the top of the tanks to fully extract color and flavor. Once fermentation completes, the wines macerate on their skins for several more weeks, with daily assays of color and tannin development. After draining the wines from the skins, we transfer them to Burgundian oak barrels carefully matched to our estate fruit’s flavor and textural attributes. After aging the wines in barrel until the following spring, we blend the lots and barrel-age the blend another 6-7 months before bottling.
Our 2010 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir boasts a vividly fragrant nose of bright cherry, raspberry and plum fruit, complemented by a seductive scent of sweet vanilla. Comprised primarily of the famed Pommard and Swan clones, this plush Pinot is fruit-rich, round and mouthfilling on the palate, with juicy dark cherry, plum and pomegranate flavors that pick up a zesty tea-leaf spice tone on the long, succulent finish. Superbly balanced, with deep, opulent fruit, supple tannins and bright acidity, this delicious Pinot Noir will drink beautifully for the next 5-7 years.
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