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2000 Carneros Pinot Noir

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About the Vineyard...
The grapes come from the Donum Estate located in the western hills of Sonoma - Carneros. A clone of unknown origin which entered the U.S. from Burgundy through the East Coast -it is called the Wiemer Selection after the nursery that propogated it. It has moderately sized clusters, with very thick skinned and fleshy grapes. It is vertical shoot positioned with 8X6 spacing. The grapes are shoot thinned early in the season, then cluster thinned at veraison. The soils are composed of dense black Diablo Clay. Cracks up to 2 wide in the summer when it dries out. Vines are perfectly balanced as they struggle to pull the water from this stingy clay late in the season.

About the Wine...
Destemmed directly to fermenter, and cold soaked for 5 days. The thick skins promote an extremely high amount of whole berries, almost 100% to start. The grapes must then be broken up enough to create juice to promote fermentation. Innoculated with Burgundian isolate yeast. Fermented warm, to 95 - 96F. With 11 days total contact time on skins. The wine was aged for 16 months in French oak from the Bertrange forest of central France.

Tasting Notes...
Deep garnet color with violet overtones. Layered aromas of wild blueberry, rich blackberry/black cherry, cassis, and chocolate. Wispy sandalwood notes rise above the fruit tones. The palate is full with chewey/chocolatey tannins and expansive fruit. At first it is surprisingly dark (for Pinot noir) in its fruit expression on the palate, with time aromatic nuances open up. The finish is long and focused with lingering 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.