In the Vineyard
Our 2010 Reserve Pinot noir is comprised of fruit sourced from a total of five different vineyards. Twenty-five percent of the fruit came from a mix of clones 115 and 777 from Shea Vineyard, 14% 777 clone from Gran Moraine Vineyard, 46% Pommard clone from Meredith Mitchell Vineyard, 8% field blend from our Tuscowallame Estate Vineyard and 7% Pommard clone from Bellevue Cross Vineyard. The low number of growing degree days in 2010 and the long, dry October enabled us to harvest each vineyard at physiological ripeness yet maintain low potential alcohols, averaging around 22.7º Brix and with an average pH of 3.32 and TAs of around 7.4. The miraculously long dry fall weather lasted well into November — keeping fruit disease pressures low and winemakers’ spirits high!
At the Winery
The ripe and plump clusters of grapes were carefully sorted in the winery both before and after destemming to ensure clean and healthy fruit in all of our small-lot fermenters. An average of seven-day cold soaks on all lots ensued, after which many showed signs of un-inoculated native fermentations beginning. The lots were then coaxed further into fermentation by warming and inoculating with BM45, 71B, BRG, and BRL 97 yeasts. A few days post-fermentation maceration followed, with total skin contact lasting an average of 16 days before each lot was pressed, settled and racked into French oak barrels, resting for 10 months. The 26% oak intensity in the final blend comes from 12% new barrels, 53% one-year-old barrels, 21% two-year-old barrels and 14% three-year-old barrels. The blend of cooperages employed was predominantly Remond and Meyriux, followed closely by Cadus with a smattering of Mercury, Tonnellerie O, and Billon.
At the Table
A pleasant nose of red licorice whip and plum compote introduces the palate to penetrating flavors of red cherry laced with vanilla bean on the wine’s entry. A subtle fine-grained tannin texture frames the wine, which is fleshed out by sappiness that stops short of becoming cloyingly sweet. The wine is clean and flawless — it should evolve to a showy gem peaking 2017 thru 2020, though enjoyable now.