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Pinot Noir, Carneros

  Our Pinot Noir vineyards span the entire cool climate Carneros region. Temperatures are moderated by the adjoining San Pablo Bay, cool afternoon breezes, and persistent morning fog. As the hot air above California's Central Valley rises, it is replaced by cool air from the Pacific Ocean. The sun burns off this fog late in the morning which causes the temperature to immediately jump 15 degrees. This climate yields grapes that have both enough cool hang time and sunshine to develop great depth of flavor with great natural acid. In response to our dry spring, we started irrigating a month earlier then normal . This assured that our vines would maintain the healthy leaves necessary to attain complete ripeness.

Gently hand harvested, the grapes were destemmed without crushing. Sunrise picking and our must chiller guarantees that our Pinot gets a slow cool start to its fermentation. Most lots were inoculated with one of several yeast strains; some lots went through uninoculated fermentations. A mixture of thorough punchdowns and gentle pumpovers gives color with texture. Pressed off shortly after dryness and aged in French oak barrels. Malolactic fermentation occurs in barrel and wines are stored sur lie to enhance both aroma and texture.

Tasting Notes
A dark and exuberant expression of great Carneros Pinot Noir. Refined and elegant aromas of cherry, red currant, chocolate and faint whiffs of leaf tobacco. This wine is beautifully subtle and multi-layered with oak spices of clove, allspice and smoke. Excellent structure gives this wine a mid-palate weight and silky sensation from start to finish. A perfectly balanced Pinot with just a gentle tingle of acid which keeps the fruit lively throughout the whole taste. This wine is wonderful straight out of the bottle, but has the concentration and complexity to improve with several years of aging.

Alcohol content, 13.9% by volume
22,000 cases produced