2017 Russian River Pinot Noir
List Member Price: $42.00
Non Member: $53.00
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Vineyard Source: The 2017 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 Martinelli family has been farming in the Russian River Valley since the 1890s, growing wine grapes, organic apples and making their own wines. Their passion for winegrowing is evident in the fruit that they produce and they are consistently the source of our best wine grapes. This Pinot Noir’s core of classic red cherry and cola aromatics come from the 777 and 115 clones, with the Pommard 5 contributing elements of earth, rose petal, depth of color, elegantly developed tannins and additional body to the wine.
Vintage: The 2017 vintage proved to be our sixth in a string of excellent growing seasons here in the Russian River Valley, although it was certainly a departure from the previous few years in terms of weather. The winter season was incredibly wet, with January rainfall totals of close to twenty inches in most parts of the Valley. Finally an end to our five-year extended drought! An early budbreak in mid-March, continued intermittent rains and rapid vegetative growth in April, led to beautiful May weather insuring undisturbed flowering and excellent fruit set. As the growing season progressed, we saw a number of extended heat spikes in the vineyards. The abundant ground water from the heavy winter and spring rainfalls lessened stress on the vines as the hot weather hastened maturation and the ripening process. A final heat spike during Labor Day Weekend, led to accelerated ripening and an easy harvest decision. Our early harvest turned out to be a true blessing for us, as wildfires swept through Napa and Sonoma counties on October 10th; luckily for us, the wines were already in barrel and completely unaffected by the wildfires!
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, then cold-soaked for five days, before it was allowed to gently warm for inoculation 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 the 2017 Russian River Pinot Noir is full and fruit driven, offering up ripe notes of rich red cherry, wild strawberry and toasted oak. On the palate, the wine is big and fills the mouth, with the entry dominated by ripe Bing cherries accentuated with notes of cola and vanilla. As the wine opens, it begins to show added complexity on the mid palate, offering up nuances of rose petals, mushroom and forest floor. The finish is long and coats the palate with lingering candied cherry and cola, giving way to a refined, well integrated tannic structure and mouth-watering end.
Variety: Pinot Noir (100%)
Clones / Selections: 777, 115 & Pommard 5
Harvest Dates: September 6, 2017
Barrel-Aging: 11 months in 60-gallon French oak barrels (50% new)
TA: 6.1 grams/liter
Cases Produced: 166
Retail Price: $53
Spring 2020 Release