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2002 Russian River Pinot Noir

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About the Vineyard...
The 2002 Russian River Pinot Noir is a blend of two vineyards: The Kent Ritchie Vineyard located in the warmer center of Russian River Valley, and the Gilbert Perez Vineyard, in the cooler south side of the city of Sebastopol. Kent's 32 year old vines lend more of a racy spiciness to the wine while Gilbert's layers in juicy cherry/berry fruit and nice aromatics. In both sites, soils are a very light sandy loam, almost powdery after cultivation. Kent's vineyard also has volcanic ash outcroppings in parts of the Pinot Noir block.

About the Vintage...
The 2002 vintage is a classic. Low yields combined with consistent weather and appropriate warm spells to maximize the lush fruit flavors Pinot Noir is known for. Less obvious, because of the forward nature of the fruit, is the presence of very nice underlying structure and good acidities. This bodes well for the ageability of the vintage as there is much more to develop as the dense fruit flavors gradually heed to the underlying complexity of the wines.

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. We innoculated with RC 212 yeast (a Burgundian isolate) and fermented warm, peaking about 96F. The wine was pressed at dryness. The wine was aged entirely in French barrels from the Francois Freres cooperage, 50% 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 3.64, ta 5.8 g/l. , r.s. 0.01 g/l. 275 cases produced.

Tasting Notes...
Bing and black cherry fruit, sandalwood, smoke, pepper and baking spices in the nose. Lush, sweet fruit predominates on the palate delineated by an excellent sense of focus and length. At release, the wine continues to flesh out days after being opened - displaying that the best is yet to come! Finishes long with a supple texture and balanced acidity.