2006 Napa Valley "Mink Vineyard" Pinot Noir
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About the Vineyard...
The Mink Vineyard is located next door to the winery, in an area known locally as Coombsville. Open to the same morning fogs and afternoon breezes that cool Carneros to the west, Coombsville is consistently one of the coolest pockets in Napa. Mink sits on a level bench just leeward of a knoll that slows down the prevailing maritime winds, allowing cooler air to settle, and making Mink’s microclimate a couple degrees cooler, even, than the surrounding hills. But the real secret to Mink’s explosive flavors, smooth, mouth-coating minerality, comes from the soil. Underneath the top few feet of alluvial clays and cobblestones (typical throughout the southern reaches of Napa), is a layer of compressed volcanic ash, called tufa. The tufa drains the top soils, storing moisture in rich clays underneath. The vines are able, with some work, to grow roots into the tufa layer, accessing moisture during the long, dry growing season. In a typical year, Mink can be practically dry-farmed.
About the Wine...
The grapes were destemmed into small, one-ton, open-top fermenters, where we employed a submerged cap device during the first half of fermentation. This helps to extract the rich flavors and deep color that we expect from this vineyard. We finished the fermentation with traditional hand punch downs, and aged the wine in< Billon and Cadus cooperage, racking gently only once. Wine analysis: Alc. 14%, pH 3.69, ta 5.7 g/l. , r.s. 0.01 g/l. 148 cases produced.
Explosive blueberry, plum and blackberry fruit dominate the nose with youthful aromas. On the palate the wine reverberates these dark fruits while unfolding further into layers of candied fruits, dark chocolate, cola, tobacco, and lingering minerality. Deeply concentrated with a firm underlying structure, a bright uplift, and great length, the lushly textured palate brims with mouth watering black fruits followed by clove, cinnamon, spice in the finish. This wine will continue to unfold for 5 - 7 years.