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2007 Sonoma Mountain "Red Dog Vineyard" 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 cuttings from the Mink Vineyard, with a smaller block of Dijon clones 777 and 115.  The vineyard is situated on the eastern face of a ridge, and the top is just under 1000 feet elevation.  At this height, the vineyard is almost continually cooled by Pacific currents moving inland through the Petaluma Gap  The soils are some of the most ancient soils in Sonoma County and have been leached of nutrients by wind and rain for aeons.  It is a truly spectacular vista point but a challenging place to grow grapes.

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 our one ton, open top fermenters 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 94, with an additional 14 days of maceration and skin contact.  The wine was aged entirely in French barrels from the Tonnellerie Remond cooperage, and a majority of those barrels were new. The wine was racked once prior to bottling. Wine movements were made by pushing with inert gas all the way until bottling.  267 cases produced.

Tasting Notes...
A pretty, effusive floral nose of rose petals and lilac, infused with sage, cedar, tobacco, and cinnamon.  The palate leads with ripe soft strawberries and sweet huckleberry, growing into a full-bodied and tannic mid-palate coated in rich, dark tones of plum, blackberry, boysenberry, cacao, and tobacco.  Finished with a lingering earthiness under traces of the leading red fruits.  This is  decadent vintage for this vineyard, showing off the yin/yang nature of this wine in its fullest.  We expect to enjoy this wine well into the next decade, as it continues to unveil new flavors of depth and additional aromatic nuance.