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2000 Russian River Pinot Noir

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About the Vineyard...
The Poplar Vineyard (aka Kent Ritchie Vineyard) is located just down the street from the Swan Estate vineyard in the northern 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 throughtout 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 2000 vintage had none of the extremes of the previous two vintages (cold 1998, colder 1999 with warm spike at the end of the season). It did have consistent moderate temperatures and a nice ripening "stretch run". Maybe we can consider it back to normal! Compared to 1999, the wines seem more layered with higher notes and deeper toned fruit. The volume just keeps building as they develop and they are showing very forward fruit.

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. 13.7 %, pH 3.64, ta 5.8 g/l. , r.s. 0.01 g/l. 275 cases produced.

Tasting Notes...
Whiffs of smoke and toast are followed by white pepper, spice, bing cherry and black cherry in the aromas. The wine is broad and bright with rich sweet fruit and leather undertones on the palate. Finishes long with a supple texture. A forward and hedonistic vintage!