2017 Pinot Noir
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Ample winter rainfall in 2017 was welcome after five years of drought and set up excellent budbreak, bloom and set. Optimal temperatures throughout the growing season allowed for even ripening, and harvest dates returned to normal ranges. Yields were healthy and overall quality was exceptional.
The Garey Vineyard lies in the heart of the Santa Maria Valley on a bench above the small town of Garey. The terroir is one of gently rolling slopes with sandy loam soils. The coastal fog influence and the cool afternoon breezes are the perfect climate for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The vineyard was planted in 1998 by the Robert Mondavi Winery and is also SIP (sustainability in practice) certified. The clones for this wine are Dijon clones 667 and 115.
Pinot Noir grapes were hand harvested into half-ton bins and crushed into a temperature-controlled tank. Following a two-day cold soak at 58 degrees, which promoted enhanced extraction of color, aroma and flavor, the lot was inoculated with Assmanshausen yeast to initiate the cool primary fermentation. The fermenting juice was pumped over three to four times daily during the peak of fermentation, then once daily until dry, about three weeks. After pressing, the wine was transferred to a combination of one-third new French oak barrels, one-third one-year-old barrels and one-third two-year-old barrels where it underwent malo-lactic fermentation and aged for 16 months.
This Pinot Noir displays elegant, complex aromatics featuring hints of black cherry and currant with accents of cedar, ripe persimmon and a subtle smokiness. The flavors are rich and lush with notes of dried cherries, plum, tobacco and spice. The wine balances a velvety texture with bright acidity, culminating in a silky, lingering finish.
270 cases produced Alcohol 14%