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2013 Carneros "Toyon Farm" Pinot Noir

2013 Carneros "Toyon Farm" Pinot Noir



A deeply intense expression of Carneros terror. We made only six and a half barrels of this dark, smooth Pinot Noir with distinguished history.


Toyon Farm, owned by Ed and Camille Penhoet, is located on a southwest-facing slope on the eastern (Napa) side of the Carneros. The topsoil is dark rich clay, averaging just around 24 inches in depth. These soils promote a dark, brooding fruit, emphasizing texture and tannin. The Toyon designate is now entirely from a block of Pinot noir planted on the north slope of the vineyard. The cuttings, originally from a famous vineyard in Burgundy, come from Ed Penhoet’s River Ranch vineyard planted in the ‘70s. As it is also the original source of the Pisoni vineyard – it is sometimes referred to as “Pisoni Clone” as well as River Ranch selection. This small block has been a work in progress, with much time spent culling out virused vines from the selection, and has very much come in to its own with recent vintages.


2013 was a season of generous weather. Adequate winter rain and soil moisture ensured for a nice start to the growing season devoid of early frost. Ideal bloom conditions provided for a uniform fruit set. A summer of consistent temperatures without notable extremes kept the vines functioning optimally without undue stress. Late season warmth ensured nice ripe tannin and color development. In summary, this was a wonderfully cooperative vintage.


We separated the entire lot into 1 ton, open-top fermenters, employing traditional punch-downs by hand in order to achieve optimal extraction. About 5% of the fruit was fermented as whole clusters. The wine was aged in an array of French cooperage, nearly half new, and gently racked once prior to bottling.  Grapes, must, and wines were moved using gravity through to the barrel and using inert gas through racking and bottling. 164 cases produced.


A deeper, darker expression of Toyon Farm terroir, this wine produces a perky spiciness that melds effortlessly into a rich palate coating smoothness. Greets with notes of black cherry, exotic all spice, and clove intermingled with Asian plum and lavender and huckleberry.  The brooding palate, dominated by an almost visceral layer of mouth-coating tannins and mid-palate flavors of cherry, Asian plum, strawberry, and orange peel, is balanced with a bright, palate-lifting acidity. It finishes with chewy chocolaty tannins accentuating a firm finish that offers promise for greater things to come.  This deep and balanced wine is structured to age gracefully for ten years or more.