2014 Pinot Noir
January 25, 2016
December 1, 2016
Our 2014 Pinot Noir is light to medium ruby in color, with just a hint of purple. The nose is dominated by floral aromas of violets and elderflower, joined by strawberry and cherry, Asian spice, and even fresh cut firewood. The palate reveal raspberry and Rainier cherry, along with gooseberry and dried herb or even fall leaves. Angular and bright with firm grip and excellent structure, the flavors are elusive and vibrant on the palate, with a surprisingly juicy fruit character carrying through on the finish. By picking earlier in 2014, we captured the freshness and the savory characteristics that make pinot unique among red varieties.
The summer of 2014 was markedly mild and even, with very few days reaching the high temperatures typically seen in Northern California. This allowed the fruit to ripen slowly and evenly. Our success in 2012 and 2013 picking earlier led to the obvious question: what if we took it further and picked even earlier, at higher acidity and lower sugar? Could we capture even more freshness? Emphasize savory, earthy flavors even more? With those question in mind we decided to pick on September 2, at just 21 brix, but with the high natural acidity that I was looking for. The fruit was in perfect shape, so I just let it hang out in tank and do its thing, with the native yeast starting fermentation after about 5 days. The fermentation proceeded quickly, and I was able to press the wine off after about another week, to allow it to undergo malolactic fermentation naturally in barrel. The wine was then aged on the lees for about 14 months, and bottled in January 2016. Sulfur was kept to an absolute minimum, with just one addition throughout the wine’s life. The result is a wine that is alive and fresh, and perhaps a little tight in its youth.