2012 Pey-Marin Vineyards Pinot Noir "Trois Filles", Marin County
93 POINTS, OUSTANDING - The Pinot Report
90 POINTS - OUTSTANDING, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! - Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
EXCELLENT, 4 STARS - Restaurant Wine
An "assemblage" of multiple clones, several chilly west Marin sites and traditional Burgundian winemaking. Cool climate style emphasizes balance, varietal purity, and subtle forest floor notes.
• Pey-Marin Vineyard is a twenty year-old, eight acre site eight miles from Pacific Ocean
• It is an "assemblage" of multiple clones, several chilly west Marin sites and traditional Burgundian winemaking
• The vineyard is also dry-farmed, an unusual practice and very low yields (typically <1.5 tons/acre)
• Cool climate style emphasizes balance, varietal purity, and subtle forest floor notes
11 months in French oak barrels
90 POINTS - OUTSTANDING, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
"Vivid red. Spice- and woodsmoke-accented aromas of black raspberry and cherry, with a subtle floral nuance in the background. Sappy, penetrating and nicely concentrated, offering energetic dark berry, bitter cherry and allspice flavors and a touch of cola. Dusty tannins come on late and add grip to a lingering finish of velvety quality. Shows an appealing interplay of ripeness and freshness; this spicy pinot drinks well."
- Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, May/June 2013
Our “Trois Filles” Pinot Noir comes from three sites located less than eight miles from the frigid Pacific Ocean in west Marin County. Our vines are heavily influenced by its considerable climatic prowess. Surprisingly, bud break is earlier than neighboring regions, but as the season progresses, our cold weather pushes flowering and harvest beyond other so-called “cool-climate” regions. The net result is a very long & moderate growing season that delivers superb flavor and bright acidity. Vineyard terrain is characterized by undulating hills which offer a plethora of microclimates well-suited to this finicky varietal. Soil profile is well-draining, decomposed marine sedimentary material (sandstone) which is moderately fertile. The primary vineyard source is dry farmed, shrinking yields and concentrating flavors. These sites also incorporate sustainable & organic viticultural practices and our trademark tiny clusters and berries have a broad aromatic spectrum and subtle texture. This frigid vineyard sites give naturally high acidity, the hallmark of the great Pinot Noirs of Burgundy.
Our modus operandi calls for very gentle handling from vineyard to bottle. Clusters were hand-harvested, hand-sorted, destemmed & crushed (with 10% whole berry) and then “cold soaked” for 2 days in small, open-top temperature-controlled fermenters. On Day 3 we allowed fermentation to begin naturally with native yeasts and later inoculated with cultured Burgundian yeast. Moderate fermentation temperature (85° F) and 2 punch-downs per day helped build structure and texture. There were no pump-overs and no acid adjustments - none were needed. On Day 9 we gently pressed our still-fermenting juice into our small French oak barriques where it slowly completed fermenting. Our barrel cooperage is the very best, air-dried for three years, medium toast with toasted heads, but only 25% new and handcrafted by the fabled French cooperages of Cadus, Remond & others. Fourteen months in barrel with zero racking, zero fining and extensive “sur lie” stirring contributed exotic spiciness and subtle mouth-feel. We bottled (unfiltered) in January 2012 and aged it in bottle for 11 months. It may throw a modest deposit. We call this special wine “Trois Filles” (Three Daughters) as a loving gesture to our three daughters.
2010 welcomed back rainfall after several dry years. Early budbreak, cool, wet spring and mild summer was capped by heat spell in late August. September was very cool. We hand-harvested our Pinot Noir on October 9 and 10 after a spell of classic “Indian Summer”.