2004 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 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 ancien t soils in Sonoma
County. It is a truly spectacular vista point but a challenging place to grow grapes .
About the Vintage...
The 2004 vintage was an early vintage with a modest crop of exceptionally intense fruit. While this was only the
second year of production from this site, the vines were well balanced between fruit and crop level. Astute
viticultural practices allowed this to be the first designate from the Red Dog Vineyard (the 2003 vintage was
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. The wine was aged entirely in French barrels from the Tonnellerie Remond cooperage, of which 60%
were 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. 14.4 %, pH 3.62, ta 5.9 g/l. , r.s. 0.01 g/l. 209 cases
Floral aromas of orange zest, dried roses, fresh herbs, truffle, and black tea. Orange peel, cherry and plum
predominate on the palate framed nicely by subtle vanillin, cocoa and toasted oak. The wine is velvety in
texture and finishes with very long, lingering flavors echoing the floral notes of the nose finishing with
underlying tannins to age well. Drink or Hold 7 – 12 years.