2005 Sonoma Mountain Pinot Noir
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About the Vineyard...
The Red Dog Vineyard sits atop Sonoma Mountain on the cool, western side. It was planted in 2000 by Tom
and Debbie Engel. It is planted mostly to Swan Selection with the cuttings coming from the Mink
Vineyard. We also have smaller amounts of Dijon 777 and 115. The 2005 bottling comes entirely from the
The soils vary through the vineyard changing from clay loam with low fertility due to being leached of
nutrients over the eons. The soils atop Sonoma Mountain are some of the most ancient soils in Sonoma
County. It is a truly spectacular vista point but a challenging place to grow grapes .
About the Vintage...
The 2005 vintage was nothing less than exceptional throughout California. The season was long and very cool
down the stretch without any heat spikes that are so typical in September. Patience was a virtue as ripening took
its own sweet time. The Red Dog Vineyard was night picked under a full moon at perfect ripeness in late
September. The wine possesses great concentration and high flying aromatics framed by firm tannins.
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 95°F. The wine given a post-fermentation maceration, with a total skin contact time of 14
days. It was aged entirely in French barrels from the Tonnellerie Remond cooperage, of which 60% were
new. Gentle wine movements were made by pushing with inert gas all the way until bottling. Wine
analysis: Alc. 14.4 %, pH 3.62, ta 5.9 g/l. , r.s. 0.01 g/l. 220 cases produced.
Juicy raspberry, cherry, and anise are accented by floral aromas of orange zest, dried roses, violets,, truffle,
and black tea. Raspberry, cherry and anise predominate on the palate framed by firm tannins and balanced
by nice acidity. The finish is reverberates the perfumed aromatics of the nose. The wine is well structured
at release and will benefit from time in the glass to slowly reveal all its complexities.. Drink or Hold up to
10 – 15 years.