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2010 Orsi Vineyards Pinot Noir

2010 Orsi Vineyards Pinot Noir


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Vineyard:  The fruit for this wine came from Bernard Orsi's Eastside Road and Mark West Station Road vineyards, both located in the heart of the Russian River Valley. East Side Road’s clone 115 grapes were grown beside the Russian River, just across from Rochioli, and give this wine a core of intense red fruit, with notes of sassafras. Our block at Mark West Station Vineyard is planted to clone 114 and is on higher ground where the Santa Rosa Plain drops towards the river floodplain. As a result, it ripens before Eastside Road, and adds herbal notes, structure and aromatic complexity to the wine.

Vintage:  After the challenging year experienced by growers in 2009, the 2010 vintage provided almost ideal growing conditions for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the Russian River Valley.  The late winter and spring seasons were dry, with warmer than average temperatures, allowing flowering to occur without event and providing good crop set.  The growing season was cool and even, with very few heat spikes allowing for extended hang time and flavor development.  A very warm end to August pushed the fruit to optimum ripeness and produced Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with intense aromatics, rich flavors, bright acidity and excellent balance.

Winemaking: The fruit was picked in the cool early morning, with grapes sorted by hand both in the vineyard and again at the winery. A small portion of the grapes went into the fermentor as whole clusters, with the majority being gently destemmed. The fruit was cooled to 50º and was cold-soaked for five days, before it was allowed to gently warm and was inoculated with a yeast strain from Williams Selyem.  Fermentation took eight days, with punch-downs performed by hand every six hours. At the completion of fermentation, the free-run wine was drained to barrel and the must was gently pressed.  The wine completed its malolactic fermentation in barrel, with one racking during the blending process. This special two and one-half barrel selection was aged in François Frères barrels, one new, the rest once-filled. It was bottled without fining or filtration.

Winemaker Notes: This wine is extremely complex aromatically, with a lovely feminine character, excellent acidity and an extremely long finish. The nose offers beautiful notes of wild strawberry, tart red cherries and ripe raspberry, with secondary layers of sassafras, earth, tea and vanilla. The palate displays flavors of ripe strawberry, cherry cola and warm brioche, with a full midpalate that leads to an elegantly balanced finish.

Technical Notes:
Variety:  Pinot Noir (100%)
Clones/Selections:  114 & 115
Harvest Dates:  September 3rd and 9th, 2010
Barrel-aging:  17 months in 60-gallon French oak barrels (60% new)
  - pH:  3.71
  - TA: 6.5 grams / liter
  - Alcohol:  14.1% by volume
Bottling Date:  May 18th, 2012
Cases Produced:  51


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