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2005 Carneros Pinot Noir

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About the Vineyard...
Our Carneros Pinot Noir comes entirely from the Toyon Vineyard, located in the eastern side of Napa - Carneros. This vineyard was planted for us in 1998 with cuttings originating from the Swan estate in Sonoma County and Dijon 115 from Burgundy. The Swan cuttings are a mass selection, rather than a single clone, originating from buds hand carried by Joseph Swan from Burgundy in the 1950s and 1960s. It exhibits layers of complexity and a deeper structure with darker flavors than the Dijon clones or Martini selection. The following year we planted Dijon 115 in a block adjacent to the Swan block. It represents approximately 30% of the blend. It brings its characteristic perfume and higher note fruit to complement the dark fruit and structure of the Swan Selection.

About the Vintage...
The 2005 vintage was notable for its amazing consistency. The stretch run of harvest provided day after day of perfect ripening conditions - in the upper 70s for highs and down into the low 50s for lows. Flavors developed gradually finally punctuated by the arrival of the Harvest Moon. In 2005, the majority of our fruit came in during this period of the lunar cycle as we noticed a distinct amplification in the intensity of fruit flavors and ripeness.

About the Wine...
The grapes were 100% destemmed into 1 ton open top fermenters and cold soaked for 4 days. We punched down by hand 4 times per day at the beginning of fermentation. This was decreased to 2 times per day by the end of fermentation. A mixed innoculum of RC212 (burgundy isolate) and Assmannshausen yeast carried out the fermentation. We employed a very warm fermentation, peaking at 94 -95F. The wine was gently pressed at dryness and went directly to barrel. The wine was aged entirely in French oak from the coopers Francois Freres, Cadus, Remond and Billon - 45% new. The wine was racked once prior to bottling. Wine movements were made by pushing with inert gas all the way until bottling. Wine analysis: Alc. 14.5 %, pH 3.66, TA 6.1 g/l. , RS 0.01 g/l. 1175 cases produced.

Tasting Notes...
Racy cherry, cola, raspberry and strawberry fruit flavors are layered upon denser brooding flavors with spice, smoke, slight meatiness, and darker blackberry and black cherry flavors. Dark chocolate, sandalwood, violets and a slight earthiness add layers to the rich fruit. Nuances of smoke, toasted wood and baking spices linger in the finish. The wine will continue to develop in the months and years ahead. Drink now or age 5 - 9 years.