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2002 Carneros Pinot Noir

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About the Vineyard...
Our Carneros Pinot Noir comes almost 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. It is a mass selection, rather than a single clone, originating from cuttings 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 deeper toned fruit of the Swan Selection. Approximately 15% of the blend comes from the 30 year old vines that we have sourced since 1992.

About the Vintage...
The 2002 vintage is a classic. Low yields combined with consistent weather and timely warm spells to maximize the lush fruit flavors Pinot Noir is known for. Less obvious, because of the forward nature of the fruit, is the presence of very nice underlying structure and good acidities. This bodes well for the ageability of the vintage as there is much more to develop as the dense fruit flavors gradually heed to the underlying complexity of the wines.

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 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, and Billon - 38% 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. 13.9 %, pH 3.66, ta 5.9 g/l. , r.s. 0.01 g/l. 1075 cases produced.

Tasting Notes...
Full bodied, dense and layered fruit ranging from blackberry, black cherry, to brighter strawberry and raspberry notes. Rich dark chocolate, sandalwood and a slight gaminess/earthiness add layer in to the predominating fruit. All this is framed by nuances of smoke, toasted wood and baking spices. Beneath the sweet fruit are round tannins providing nice structure and focused acidity ensuring excellent length and a nice balance boding well for medium term aging. Drink now or age 5 - 7 years.