The 2014 harvest was even earlier than the early 2013 vintage. Warm and dry conditions during winter and spring forced early bud break and bloom. We had drained and repaired our pond at the end of 2013, and had little rainfall that winter. We did not have water in reserve for frost protection and little was available for irrigation. Luckily, we avoided frost damage in our Estate Vineyard and no rains fell during bloom. Summer temperatures were moderate. As a result our yields were also moderate, but the grapes were intensely concentrated. This blend was largely sourced from the Handley Estate Vineyard, located at the cooler end of Anderson Valley, closest to the Pacific and subject to coastal influence. Our vineyard is usually one of the last in the valley to be picked. The fruit our old vines produce is nicely perfumed, especially in warmer vintages, and still maintains good acidity which provides structure to the wine. The grapes from our Estate Vineyard were combined with fruit from Ferrington and Helluva vineyards. These two sites are located in the warmer end of Anderson Valley and contribute fleshy red fruit flavors and soft texture. We also added grapes from our mountaintop RSM vineyard because of their dense dark fruit character and complexity.
The fruit for this blend were gently destemmed and crushed, retaining about 40% whole berries. It was then transferred to small open top fermenters, where it was chilled and cold soaked for three days. As we slowly warmed the fruit, we inoculated it with a variety of yeasts selected to express different characters – some to enhance floral and fruity aromatics, some for good tannin extraction, and others to promote mouthfeel and a long finish. We punched down the fermenters twice a day, and at completion of fermentation the wine was pressed to tank and allowed to settle for three days. Then it was racked to barrels and stirred on the lees until it completed malolactic fermentation. This Pinot Noir was aged for 10 months in a mix of French Oak barrels (25% new), after which It was sterile filtered to maintain consistency and stability. (No animal derived products were used in the production of this wine).
Our 2014 Anderson Valley blend has aromas of freshly baked Bing cherry pie, dried rose petal, and baking spices. With the concentrated ripe fruit flavors indicative of this warm vintage, it’s juicy and full on the palate with black cherry, raspberry, and sour plum, with hints of violets and nutmeg. The finish is long and lingering punctuated by bright acidity.
We’ve found this wine is a perfect complement to Spaghetti Carbonara, Quinoa & Sweet Potato Salad, or Roasted Guinea Hen with au jus.