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2001 Carneros Pinot Noir

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About the Vineyard...
Our Carneros Pinot Noir is a blend of two vineyards situated near the Napa-Sonoma county line at the southern end of the appellation. The first vineyard, Domaine Chandon #105, planted in 1973 to the Martini clone, is an austere site with lean soils and low vigor. The 30 year old vines, becoming rare as many of California's early Pinot noir plantings succumb to phylloxera or virus, lend an underlying concentration to the wine. The second vineyard is the Toyon Vineyard, located in the eastern side of 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 we normally see in the Martini clone. It is loaded with dense youthful fruit that synergizes nicely with the more perfumed Domaine Chandon block.

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...
Deep garnet color. Layered aromas of raspberry, rich blackberry and black cherry fruit with spice, coffee, cocoa/chocolate. The palate is full and velvety in texture, bursting with blackberry/cherry fruit, anise, chocolate, and coffee. The finish is long and focused with lingering bright fruit and bright acidity. The wine has underlying tannic structure and will age nicely, unfolding additional layers with time. Drink or hold 5 8 years.