2021 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 winemaking techniques and careful maturation in French oak capture the typicity of these sites - and the purity of this world-class red grape variety.
- Our new label features original art by the late Helen Steele, renown northern California artist. We interpret her piece as a family slowly foraging along the Sonoma coastline, perhaps finding mussels, clams, seaweed and other bounty from the sea.
The nuance of our 2021 Pinot Noir comes from two 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, cool sites gravelly loams. Each site and clone provided different aromas, flavors & structure and we developed the blend from these diverse components.
At long last Vintage 2021 offered us an amazing growing season with very little “drama”. The winter was wet and windy and after March there was pretty much no precipitation. So we were able to focus on fine tuning, rather than wholesale fixing, with the sites. Summer was “goldilocks”: not too hot, not too cold and all the Pinot Noir was in the barn before the late October rains. Pinot clusters ended up being perfectly ripened and the size of the crop was decent, and quality very high. In short, a great vintage which displays great color, aromas and texture.
Hand-harvested between September 11 and 22, 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 (~87°F) and 1 pigeage (punch-down) 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 plays 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: 115, Pommard 5 Maturation: 20% New French Barrels for 11 months