We have a love affair with Pinot Noir. We obsessively grow 17 different clones on six different vineyards, all located within the cool climate area of Soledad and Greenfield. Pinot Noir clonal selection is ultra-important, as each clone has different characteristics. What do we mean by clone? Grapevines in general, and Pinot Noir vines in particular, are genetically unstable and can mutate slightly over time. Each grape variety, therefore, is made up of many subtypes, called clones. These clones can result in different flavors, intensity, color, etc. Add to the clonal equation the huge effect that vineyard location has on the sensitive Pinot Noir grape and you can see that obsession is almost a prerequisite to producing epic Pinot Noirs. For our 2012 vintage, Winemaker Dave Nagengast has crafted a wine of elegance and finesse. It is wonderfully supple, with a heavenly mouthfeel and tons of bright red fruit aromas and vivid flavors of black cherry and raspberry.
Gold Medal - 2014 Grand Harvest Wine Competition
Pinot Noir is thought to be the oldest cultivated variety of the genus Vitis, with records showing it was grown by the Romans in the 1st century AD in the Burgundy region of France. The cool temperatures of Monterey County present ideal growing conditions for Pinot Noir. Our 2012 vintage was crafted from three of our estate vineyards located within the cool climate areas of Soledad and Greenfield. The 2012 growing season was picture-perfect. The spring months were temperate and uneventful, with no significant frost threats and ideal temperatures. Cool nights and overcast mornings followed by breezy afternoons made the summer months perfect for even ripening and good flavor development. Excellent harvest-time conditions allowed us to let the grapes hang until optimal ripeness was achieved.
100% Pinot Noir
The grapes were picked by hand at optimum ripeness. Upon arrival at the winery, they were destemmed, but not crushed, into small fermentation bins and allowed to cold soak at 50°F for 2 – 3 days. Cold soaks are used to help stabilize color and enhance flavor. The juice was then fermented in small lots in open top fermenters and punched down 3 times a day at the height of fermentation, then held on the skins for 2 weeks before pressing. The juice was racked clean to small oak barrels for secondary fermentation and storage.