2004 Napa Valley Pinot Noir
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About the Vineyard...
The Mink Vineyard is located in the Tulocay area due east of the city of Napa (also known as
Coombsville). This is a cool area that enjoys a backdraft of air conditioning from the San Pablo Bay.
The soils are very special and distinct from other cool climate Pinot Noir sites in California (or Oregon
for that matter). The top three feet is a rocky alluvial soil, reddish beige in color with loads of
cobblestones. Below the alluvial is a layer of white volcanic ash approximately two feet deep. The
third layer is black clay. The roots work their way through the cobblestones down to the surface of the
ash. The ash provides excellent drainage as it is physically similar to limestone in porousity. The clay
provides a reservoir of moisture that is slowly wicked back to the vine through the ash - but the vine
has to work hard for it. The vines can be practically dry farmed, depending on the year, and develop a
very nice steady state system that is hard to achieve with drip irrigation. The vineyard is split equally
between Swan Selection and Dijon 115 clone of Pinot Noir.
About the Wine...
The grapes were 100% destemmed into an open top fermenter and cold soaked for 4 days. We
employed a submerged cap device through the mid-point of primary fermentation followed by twice a
day punchdowns through the completion of fermentation. We innoculated with a Burgundian yeast
isolate and fermented warm, peaking about 94°F. The wine was pressed at dryness. The wine was
aged entirely in French barrels from the Billon and Cadus cooperages. 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. 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 youthful aromas. On the palate the wine
reverberates the blueberry/plum/blackberry fruit but unfolds further into layers of dark chocolate, wet
stone, and lingering minerality. Deeply concentrated with a firm underlying structure 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.