2018 FORAGER Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
- Our FORAGER Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir illustrates that careful, experienced growing, selection, blending and maturation of Pinot Noir lots grown in diverse coastal locations can deliver delicious flavor 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 2018 Pinot Noir comes from three 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 85% of the vintage, is situated northwest of Forestville and offers clones 777 and 115 and contributes richness and depth. 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 clone 115 and Pommard 5. The second site (45% of the vintage) The balance comes from a small site near the town of Sonoma.
Vintage 2018 started with a warmer than normal January but February and March brought much colder weather, including a rare dusting of snow in the hills. Late spring had moderate temperature and precipitation, but by early summer it warmed up – until it didn’t - because July had some very cool weather (which helped flavor development). Pinot clusters ended up being perfectly ripened and the size of the crop was good, and quality very high. In short, a killer vintage – phew!
Hand-harvested between September 9 and 16, 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 fermented “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. New French oak play a minor role in its aromatics. We call our wine 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 Clone/Selections: 777, 115, Pommard 5 Maturation: 25% New French Barrels for eleven months