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2018 Charlatan Pinot Noir

2018 Charlatan Pinot Noir

List Member Price: $65.00  |  Retail: $79.00

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Charlatan is the very finest Pinot Noir we make. In 2018, it represented less than ten percent of our total production, and was crafted as a selection of our best barrels of Pinot Noir. In fact, only four barrels were ultimately selected for the 2018 Charlatan, and just 92 cases were bottled. The fruit came exclusively from the Martinelli family's renowned Ceremonial Vineyard. Not only does this vineyard benefit from a perfect location in the heart of the Russian River Valley appellation, the vines receive incomparable love and care from the Martinelli team-including a huge amount of handwork and incredible attention to detail. As a result, this wine-which is a combination of clones 115 and Pommard 5-shows outstanding richness, complexity and depth.

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.

The fruit was picked in the cool early morning under our supervision, 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 then inoculated with a yeast strain from Williams Selyem.  Fermentation took seven 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-barrel selection was aged in our favorite François Frères barrels, one new, and the other a year old. It was bottled without fining or filtration.

Winemaker Notes
The 2018 Charlatan is a beautiful medium ruby color in the glass.  The wine initially offers up a subtle nose of red fruit, with aromas of wild strawberry, crushed overripe raspberries and rich red cherry.  There are also hints of more complex aromatics that include floral notes of red rose and tealeaves.  On the palate, the wine shows much more intense fruit character that suggested by the delicate nose, with rich red cherry dominating.  The mid-palate is expansive; showing tremendous candied cherry cola flavors, accented by notes of vanilla, toast and sassafras, then exhibiting a core of well-integrated tannins.  The finish is long, mouthwatering and balanced, staying on the palate for an extended time.

Technical Notes
Variety:  Pinot Noir (100%)
Clones/Selections:  115 & Pommard 5
Harvest Dates:  September 19th, 2018
Barrel-aging:  17 months in 60-gallon French oak barrels (50% new)
  - pH:  3.69
  - TA: 6.1 grams / liter
  - Alcohol:  14.1% by volume
Bottling Date:  February 12th, 2020
Cases Produced:  128

* As a bonus for our Mailing-List Members, the winery will offer complimentary ground shipping on all orders of 12 or more bottles.

2024 Spring Release Offering

  • 2018 Russian River Pinot Noir  -   Retail $53   -  List Member $42
  • 2017 Russian River Pinot Noir  -   Retail $53   -  List Member $42
  • 2016 Russian River Pinot Noir  -   Retail $53   -  List Member $42
  • 2018 Charlatan Pinot Noir  -   Retail $79   -  List Member $65
  • Charlatan Library 6-Pack Vertical  -   Retail $488   -  List Member $390
  • Russian River Valley 12-pack Vertical  -   Retail $636   -  List Member $495




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