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2003 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...
We have been blessed with an excellent string of vintages - starting with the 2001 and extending to the 2003 harvest. While each vintage has its own personality, all have provided the right conditions for the best expression of the Pinot noir grape. While 2001 possessed elegance and early complexity, 2002 exhibited a more muscular representation. 2003, in contrast, is powerful yet invitingly lush and approachable.

About the Wine...
The grapes were 100% destemmed into an open top fermenter 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 - 42% 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 3.68, TA 6.0 g/l. , RS 0.01 g/l. 790 cases produced.

Tasting Notes...
Lushly textured with spice and dark layered fruit ranging from blackberry, black cherry, to brighter strawberry and raspberry notes. Rich dark chocolate, sandalwood and a slight earthiness add layers to the rich fruit. Framed by nuances of smoke, toasted wood and baking spices. Nice acidity and velvety tannins carry through in the long finish. Drink now or age 4 - 6 years.