2016 Russian River Pinot Noir
List Member Price: $42.00
Non Member: $53.00
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Vineyard Source: The 2016 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is a blend of three different clones of Pinot Noir from the Martinelli family’s exceptional Ceremonial Vineyard, located in the heart of the Russian River Valley appellation. The wine’s core of classic red cherry and cola aromatics come from the clones 777 and 115, with the Pommard 5 contributing elements of earth, rose petal, depth of color, elegantly developed tannins and additional body to the wine.
Vintage: The 2016 vintage proved to be our fifth in a string of excellent growing seasons here in the Russian River Valley. The winter season was again extremely dry and surprisingly warm. In late February we experienced cooler temperatures and in March had a significant amount of rainfall, which slowed the vines vegetative growth. The extended vegetative cycle, combined with a slightly slower maturation process, led us to harvest fruit a little later than in 2015. A mild summer, with normal temperatures, allowed for extended hang time and full flavor development of the grapes. There were a few heat spikes in July, after verasion, which promoted ripening. August was relatively cool, which further extended hang time in the vineyard, followed by warming in early September leading up to harvest. The resulting wines show dark color, polished finely integrated tannic structure, expressive earth-driven aromatics, intense cherry driven flavors, bright natural acidity, and rich complexity.
Winemaking: Beautiful, high quality Pinot Noir allowed us to send a quarter of the grapes into the fermentor as whole clusters, with the remaining three quarters 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 ten 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. It was bottled without fining or filtration.
Winemaker Notes: The initial nose of this wine is restrained, offering earthy notes of forest floor, tree moss, rose petal, cherry, sassafras, cola, vanilla and sweet briarwood. On the palate, the first taste offers continuity with the aromatics showing earth, mineral and dried herbs. As the wine opens on the mid palate the fruit explodes with rich candied cherry fruit and cola, along with earthy hints of forest floor. The long, balanced, persistent finish shows off the polished, integrated tannic structure of the wine, along with a rich core of dark cherry.
Variety: Pinot Noir (100%)
Clones / Selections: 777, 115 & Pommard 5
Harvest Dates: September 7, 2016
Barrel-Aging: 19 months in 60-gallon French oak barrels (50% new)
Analysis: pH: 3.60
TA: 6.2 grams/liter
Cases Produced: 252
Retail Price: $53