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2005 Carneros Pinot Gris

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About the Vineyard...
This is our second vintage of Pinot Gris from the Sangiacomo family’s El Novillero Block. We had experimented with a few barrels between 1999 and 2001. Based on that success, we decided to embark on a larger scale project endeavoring to make a Pinot Gris modeled upon the richer flavored, fuller bodied Alsatian style. The clay soils and eastern facing orientation at Novillero are ideal for the rich and structured style we were aiming for. Mike Sangiacomo planted the vineyard to our specs in 2002. We started with two clones imported from Alsace: #152 and #146. The first yields more flowery and aromatic notes while the second, denser and more structured with flint and spice notes. Our two acre block is currently the only Pinot Gris the Sangiacomo family grow.

About the Vintage...
The 2005 vintage is the most consistent, in terms of weather, in memory. The season was cool without heat spikes or consistent cold spells. Ripening was very slow allowing excellent physiological development – or in simpler terms, the fruit tasted GREAT! As in 2004, we saw high acidities but inhibited malolactic fermentation to achieve the lush style with the freshness and focus nice acidity brings.

About the Wine...
The grapes were well extracted by pressing as whole clusters then racked into used French oak for fermentation. A cultured yeast, Cotes de Blanc, was added for its ability to emphasize floral fruit notes. The primary fermentation was carried out entirely in barrel at a cool 50 °F to capture and retain rich fruit flavors. The lees were stirred upon completion of fermentation to enhance texture and encourage development. The wine did not undergo malolactic fermentation. Wine analysis: Alc. 14%, pH 3.30, TA 6.2 g/l. , RS 0.2 g/l. 375 cases produced.

Tasting Notes...
Familiar aromas of tangerine, honeydew, melon, green apple, and grapefruit provide the exotic but familiar backdrop to our Pinot Gris. Lemon zest, spice, almond paste, and subtle tropical notes echo in the flavors on the palate accompanied by creamy texture that is a little tight upon release. Crisp acidity and key lime flavors drive the wine through to the finish. The wine will continue to flesh out in the months and years ahead with additional layers and complexities to follow.