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2001 Russian River Pinot Noir

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About the Vineyard...
The Kent Ritchie Vineyard Vineyard (aka Poplar) is located just down the street from the Swan Estate vineyard in the center of the Russian River Valley. It was planted in 1974. The vineyard is planted to an unknown clone of Pinot Noir - possibly the Wente selection(?). The soils are a very light sandy loam, almost powdery after cultivation. Throughout the vineyard there are volcanic outcroppings where ash is at the surface. This suggests underlying volcanic ash at varying depths throughout the vineyard. The drainage is excellent and the vigor moderate. The vines are deep rooted and tend to do very well with minimal irrigation.

About the Vintage...
The 2001 vintage was one of our easiest in memory. The fruit ripened slowly and evenly with no sudden heat spells or extended cool periods. Acidity levels were excellent as was flavor development. We were able to pick the grapes exactly when we wanted with ideal sugar and acid levels. The wines possess exceptional balance and intensity enabling them show well upon release and boding well for aging from 3 - 5 years from release.

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 cherry fruit, slight. smokiness, spice, and toast are followed by deeper tones of pepper and black cherry in the aromas. The wine is broadly textured and bright with rich sweet fruit and racy spice on the palate. Finishes long with a supple texture and balanced acidity. The wine continues to open up in the glass hinting to additional structure and depth to evolve with bottle aging.