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2006 Carneros Pinot Noir

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About the Vineyard...
The Toyon Farm is located on the eastern, Napa, side of Carneros, on a fan-shaped, south-west facing slope. Underneath the typical Carneros clay and alluvial soils are layers of shale, which add spicy notes to the darker, more brooding flavors and aromas. We planted this vineyard the first block of this vineyard in 1998 with cuttings originating from the Swan estate in the Russian River Valley--and these, in turn, were brought from Burgundy by Joseph Swan in the 1950s and 60s. Our selection of Swan clones tends to produce smaller berries and deep structures. So, in 1999, we added a block of Dijon 115, which with its characteristic perfume and lighter fruit notes, provides a winning complement to the Swan.

About the Vintage...
The 2006 vintage was one of the longest, coolest, seasons we can recall, with small, compact berries and low harvest yields. Harvest started in the end of September and stretched into early October giving us a compact and hectic vintage. Our Carneros Pinot Noir was harvested on September 23rd. A vintage to be appreciated for elegance, balance, and complexity.

About the Wine...
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, and we co-fermented some of the Swam and Dijon 115 lots, adding new layers of complexity and harmony between the different fruits. The wine was aged in an array of French cooperage, nearly half new, and gently racked once prior to bottling. Wine analysis: Alc. 14.5 %, pH 3.74, TA 6.0 g/l. , RS 0.01 g/l. 1000 cases produced.

Tasting Notes...
The nose abounds with fresh cherry, plum, raspberry, and lilac, with a whiff of clove and dried herbs. The palate opens to lush, ripe strawberry with some tannic weightiness. A nice acidic uplift is followed by layers of dense, brooding, and darker flavors: black cherry, cocoa, and blackberry. It finishes with earthiness, toasted woods, and a lingering dried and fresh fruits from stretching from the beginning. Ages beautifully, 5-10 years.