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2018 Russian River Pinot Noir

2018 Russian River Pinot Noir

Retail: $53.00  |  List Member Price: $42.00
 

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Vineyard Source:  The 2018 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 seventh in a string of excellent growing seasons in the Russian River Valley, the 2018 vintage was a relaxed harvest with a long, relatively uneventful, growing season.  Although we experienced a warmer than expected February, the remaining winter season was cooler than recent vintages.  As spring rolled in, temperatures remained below normal, with an extended bloom, undisturbed by weather events, which resulted in consistent fruit set.  Summer temperatures continued to be moderate with fewer heat spikes, allowing for veraison to start a little later, which really was more back to ‘normal’ compared to the past four vintages.  The 2018 vintage required patience, letting the grapes develop to full maturity and flavor on the vine.

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:  In the glass, the 2018 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is a bright, delicate, medium ruby wine.  The initial nose is restrained, offering up aromas of sassafras, briarwood and crushed red cherries; given some time in the glass, the young wine will reveal more complex nuances of cherry pie, raspberry compote, vanilla and toasted brioche.  On the palate the young wine is again restrained, yielding up a core of Bing cherry and accented with flavors of ripe, wild strawberries and tobacco; the finish is exceptionally well balanced and long, ending with fine, integrated tannins and mouth-watering acidity.  This wine reminds me of our 2013 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, one of the most elegant vintages of Pinot Noir that we have produced; based on that wine’s life up to this point, I can’t wait to see how the 2018 will evolve over the coming years.

Technical info:
Variety: Pinot Noir (100%)
Clones / Selections: 777, 115 & Pommard 5
Harvest Dates: September 19, 2018
Barrel-Aging: 17 months in 60-gallon French oak barrels (40% new)

Analysis:
pH: 3.58
TA: 6.5 grams/liter
Alcohol: 14.2%
Filtration: None
Cases Produced: 257
Retail Price: $53

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