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2007 Napa Valley "Mink Vineyard" Pinot Noir

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About the Vineyard...
The Mink Vineyard is located next door to the winery, in an area known locally as Coombsville. Open to the same morning fogs and afternoon breezes that cool Carneros to the west, Coombsville is consistently one of the coolest pockets in Napa. Mink sits on a level bench just leeward of a knoll that slows down the prevailing maritime winds, allowing cooler air to settle, and making Mink’s microclimate a couple degrees cooler, even, than the surrounding hills. But the real secret to Mink’s explosive flavors, smooth, mouth-coating minerality, comes from the soil. Underneath the top few feet of alluvial clays and cobblestones (typical throughout the southern reaches of Napa), is a layer of compressed volcanic ash, called tufa. The tufa drains the top soils, storing moisture in rich clays underneath. The vines are able, with some work, to grow roots into the tufa layer, accessing moisture during the long, dry growing season. In a typical year, Mink can be practically dry-farmed.

About the Vintage...
The weather in 2007 remained cool and steady throughout August and September, allowing the grapes to achieve optimal ripeness levels without sacrificing acidity, resulting in wines that come close to that difficult to realize platonic point of balance between power and grace, depth and vivacity.  We expect that our decision to pick while acidity remained high, as well as our detailed attention to maximum fruit extraction, will allow these wines to preserve bright uplift and focused fruit on the mid-palate, even as they continue to age, deepening and adding exciting layers, such as spice, mushroom, cacao, and forest floor.

About the Wine...
The grapes were destemmed into small, one-ton, open-top fermenters, where we employed a submerged cap device during the first half of fermentation. This helps to extract the rich flavors and deep color that we expect from this vineyard. We finished the fermentation with traditional hand punch downs, and aged the wine in Billon cooperage, a barrel that tends to sit subtly underneath the delicate fruit, lifting aromas without crowding them.  The wines were racked once, gently, prior to bottling.   Grapes, must, and wines were moved using gravity through to the barrel and using inert gas through racking and bottling.  266 cases produced.

Tasting Notes...
This vintage produced a brooding wine.  Look for depth and complexity, with slow, subtle development over the course of a meal or a tasting.  The nose opens to rich arrangement of dried blueberries, fresh raspberries, pomegranate, and ripe red apples, with a whiff of mint interwoven into the fruits.  Dark chocolate, coffee, black tea, and tobacco notes provide a counterpoint to the fruit, reminding one of the deep structure of this wine.  The palate moves towards darker fruits, plums, blueberry, and blackberry, showing a surprising brightness and lift in balance with the rich flavors and intense structure of the tannin.  The wine finishes with Mink Vineyard’s signature chalky minerality, a mouth-coating and rich flavor.  This well-structured wine should continue to age and develop new layers for the next 7-10 years.