2016 began with another very early bloom, leading to a very early harvest in Sonoma County; our first fruit arrived August 5. During maturation, summer temperatures were warm and steady, with fewer heat spikes than 2015. Three weeks of cool weather in August and September relaxed the pace of harvest, allowing for methodical picking decisions and perfectly developed fruit. Yields were relatively average – down from 2014 and up from 2015.
As traditionally practiced in Burgundy, we used an anaerobic approach to preserving the freshness and fruit characteristics of our Pinot Noir. It was aged sur lies with monthly bâtonnage and spent fourteen months in 49% new French barrels (François Frères & Demptos). This wine was lightly fined with egg white and bottled without filtration.
Our third Russian River Valley Pinot Noir strikes a fine balance between rich, unctuous styles and leaner, coastal styles. It is at once both elegant and delicious.