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2014 PINOT BLANC
Director of Winemaking Dave Nagengast describes Pinot Blanc as “the white wine for red wine drinkers.”
With more weight than most other white varieties, it’s opulent, round and creamy, yet finishes with bright acidity. For such a cool, intriguing wine, you might ask why aren’t there more Pinot Blancs out there? For starters, it’s persnickety in the vineyard and low-yielding. It’s the genetic cousin of Pinot Gris, which is a genetic mutation of Pinot Noir, which is quite a capricious varietal. In a world of Chardonnays and Pinot Grigios, Pinot Blanc is a phantom—hard to find and truly a niche wine. Our 2014 Pinot Blanc is ethereal yet luxurious, with yellow apple and lemon curd aromas accompanied by sweet vanilla and toastiness from 100% French oak barrels. The rich, layered flavors lead to a round, plush mouthfeel and a lingering finish.
VINEYARD Greenfield, with its windy, maritime climate, is ideally situated for the cool-climate loving Pinot Blanc. e chilly afternoon breezes keep heat stress at bay, an absolute necessity for top quality PB, and the long growing season allows the fruit to reach optimum flavor development on the vine while maintaining bright acidity. e site we chose for our Pinot Blanc is Block E-3 of the Mesa del Rio Vineyard, an alluvial fan with gentle slopes, excellent air flow, and a distinctive, shaly soil.
VINTAGE The 2014 growing season was our third perfect one in a row, with mild temperatures throughout the spring, a warm but not overly hot summer, and mild conditions that held until the last grape was picked. On the heels of excellent 2012 and 2013 vintages, it exceeded our expectations in every way and was an ideal year for our distinctive Pinot Blanc.
WINEMAKING The grapes were hand-sorted and picked into half-ton bins. Upon delivery to the winery, the grapes were gently whole cluster pressed to prevent oxidation and avoid extraction of any harsh tannins. The juice was then racked clean to barrels for fermentation. Barrel fermentations warm up to high temperatures compared to stainless steel fermentations. This helps extract more oak tannins from the barrels, adding roundness and a fuller mouthfeel to the wine.