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2011 Pinot Noir Reserve
Tasting Notes

2011 Pinot Noir Reserve

Terroir is a French word meaning that certain something that exists because of the unique combination of climate, soil, rainfall, grape type and other critical factors that exist in a very specific locale.  It is, in essence, the taste of place.  And no other varietal reflects its sense of place more than the temperamental Pinot Noir grape.  It’s a fascinating wine that, as Miles in the movie Sideways rhapsodized, has flavors that are “the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and ancient on the planet.”  Our 2011 Reserve is comprised of the five barrels that represent our best lots of the 2011 vintage.  A blend of Pinot Noir clones 667, 777, 115 and Pommard, it is an elegant wine with aromas of black cherry and ripe plum with a hint of vanilla and earthy truffles.  The well-integrated oak blends with the dark fruit components on the palate, leaving a rich, full mouthfeel with soft tannins.   

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The cool temperatures of Monterey County present ideal growing conditions for Pinot Noir. Our 2011 Reserve was sourced primarily from our Viento Vineyard and Scheid-Arroyo Seco Vineyard. Both of these estate vineyards are located in the Greenfield area. The morning fogs, cool winds and longer-than-average growing season translate into intense black fruit flavors, full structure and excellent varietal character. The 2011 growing season was cooler than normal, resulting in overall yields that were down about 20% from average. The benefit of the long, mild growing season was sugar and acid levels that were in ideal balance across our Pinot Noir blocks and full flavor development.
We picked our delicate Pinot Noir grapes by hand at optimum ripeness. Upon arrival at the winery, the grapes were destemmed, but not crushed, into small fermentation bins and allowed to cold soak for 2 – 3 days. Cold soaks are used to help stabilize color and enhance flavor. The juice was then fermented in small lots in open top fermenters and punched down 3 times a day at the height of fermentation, then held on the skins for 2 weeks before pressing. The must was drained, pressed to stainless steel tanks and, after settling the heavy solids, the juice was racked clean to barrels for secondary fermentation and aging. Aged for 18 months in primarily French cooperage, the wine was bottled then laid down for an additional 2 years prior to release. Our goal in selecting the very best barrels was to attain an ideal balance of tannin, acidity and intense black fruit that truly captures the beauty and purity of Pinot Noir.
Varietal Composition
100% Pinot Noir
82% Viento, 17% Scheid-Arroyo Seco, 1% Mesa del Rio Vineyard
Harvest Date
September 13 - 17
Harvest Brix
Alcohol %
18 months in 83% French oak, 17% European oak
Cases Produced
Bottling Date
June 6, 2013