2012 THE FORAGER Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast

2012 THE FORAGER Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast

EXCELLENT - Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

EXCELLENT, 4+ STARS - Restaurant Wine, August 2014

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THE FORAGER Pinot Noir illustrates that careful, experienced selection and blending of Pinot Noir lots grown in diverse coastal locations can deliver delicious flavors and interest without the luxury “single-vineyard” price tag.

Excellent low yielding sites, our experience living, studying & working in Burgundy brings classic winemaking techniques and careful maturation in top new French oak capture the typicity of these sites - and the purity of this noble red grape variety. 

Wine Specs

Vintage 2012
Varietal Pinot Noir
Appellation Sonoma Coast
pH 3.59
Alcohol % 14

Wine Profile

Ratings EXCELLENT, 4+ STARS - Restaurant Wine, August 2014
Vineyard Notes The complexity of our 2012 Pinot Noir comes from seven clonal selections grown in three locales on the chilly Sonoma Coast, a terrific spot for exemplary cool-climate Pinot Noir. These sites were hand-pruned and picked. The soils in these low yielding, wind-swept sites range from the famed “Goldridge” to shallow gravelly loams. Each site and clone provided different aromas, flavors & structure and we developed the blend from these diverse components. The first site, representing 50% of the vintage, is less than seven miles from the coast at an elevation of almost 1,000 feet with 15-30 degree slopes. It was densely planted a decade ago and features Guyot training with 16-18 clusters per vine of 115, 828, 777 and “heritage” selections. The second site (30% of the vintage) is situated in the western section of the AVA (due south of Kistler and Klopp Ranch), offers clones 777 and 828 and contributes richness and depth. The 3rd site is near the intersection Gravenstein Highway & Graton Road and is shallow gravelly loam.
Production Notes Hand-harvested between September 22 and October 1, these compact Pinot Noir bunches were chilled to 50F, hand-sorted, mostly destemmed, crushed and cold soaked for 2-3 days in five-ton open-top fermenters. The smallest (and latest) lot went whole cluster for added texture. Fermentation began naturally and was completed with cultured Burgundian yeast. Moderate fermentation temperatures (87°F) and 2 pigeage (punch-downs) per day helped build structure, color and texture. ML took place in barrel followed by eleven months maturation (no racking) contributing nuanced spiciness and a velvety mouth-feel. We call our wine THE FORAGER to illustrate how growing, gathering & judiciously blending small lots of delicious Pinot Noir can deliver serious flavor and interest.
Winemaker Notes After 3 challenging vintages, we vintners breathed a sigh of relief when in 2012 Mother Nature brought us beautiful sunny skies and clear, cool nights throughout the entire season. Vintage 2012 will likely down in the Pinot Noir books as “exceptional”. It allowed us to tinker along the seams, to refine the minutiae, rather than make broad strokes to save a crop - or glean the best from not-so-great lots and cull out the ones to sell off. We are thus very pleased to present our 2012 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.
Production 64 barrels

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