2016 The FORAGER Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
THE FORAGER Pinot Noir illustrates that careful, experienced selection, blending and maturation of Pinot Noir lots grown in diverse coastal locations can deliver delicious flavors and interest.
• THE FORAGER Pinot Noir illustrates that careful, experienced selection, blending and maturation of Pinot Noir lots grown in diverse coastal locations can deliver delicious flavors and interest.
• Excellent low yielding sites, classic low-impact Burgundian 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.
The complexity of our 2016 Pinot Noir comes from four clones grown in two locales on the chilly Sonoma Coast, a terrific spot for exemplary cool-climate Pinot Noir. Both 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 75% of the vintage, is less than seven miles from the coast, west of Sebastopol at an elevation of almost 700 feet with 15 degree slope. It was planted in 2001 to Dijon clones 114, 115 and Pommard 5. The second site (25% of the vintage) is situated northwest of Forestville in Russian River and offers clones 777 and 115 and contributes richness and depth.
In 2016 we came back to a “normal” year with excellent quality all around. We had early bud break so frost was on our minds, and as we leaned toward the summer we enjoyed a cooler than normal season, dry and sunny which was perfect. Pinot clusters were normal sized and got to hang for a long time, developing color and flavor nicely. In short, 2016 was a great year.
Hand-harvested between September 12 and 18, the compact Pinot Noir bunches were hand-sorted, mostly destemmed, crushed and cold soaked for 2 days in five-ton open-top fermenters. A small portion went whole cluster adding nice “grip”. Fermentation began with prevailing, local yeasts and was completed with cultured Burgundian yeast. Moderate fermentation temperatures (88°F) and 1 pigeage (punch-downs) per day helped build structure, color and texture. After a gentle press, ML took place in barrel followed by eleven months maturation (no racking) which contributed 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.
Regional Composition: 100% Sonoma Coast AVA
Varietal Composition: Clone/Selections: 114, 115, Pommard 5
Maturation: 35% New French Barrels for eleven months