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2004 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 and 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 2004 vintage was an early vintage with a modest crop of exceptionally intense fruit. The fruit ripened earlier than usual due, in part, to the low yields. Weather cooperated nicely to provide even ripening of the fruit and very concentrated flavors due to the low yields while maintaining excellent acidity levels. The wines are more layered, brighter, and more vibrant when compared to the 2003 vintage. We expect the wines to age well considering the excellent balance.

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 small innoculum of RC212 (burgundy isolate) cultured yeasts 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. 975 cases produced.

Tasting Notes...
Dense, brooding flavors with spice, smoke, sl. Meatiness, and dark layered fruit ranging from blackberry, black cherry, to brighter strawberry, raspberry and violet notes. Dark chocolate, sandalwood 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 - 7 years.