2007 Carneros "Toyon Farm"
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About the Vineyard...
Toyon Farm is located on a southwest-facing slope on the eastern (Napa) side of the Carneros. The top soil is a rich, dark clay that averages just around 24 inches in depth. These soils promote a dark, brooding fruit, emphasizing texture and tannin. We planted the first block of this vineyard in 1998 with cuttings originating from the Swan estate in the Russian River Valley--and these, in turn, were brought from Burgundy by Joseph Swan in the 1950's and '60's. Our selection of Swan clones tends to produce smaller berries and deep structures. This special bottling comes from four barrels, vinified exclusively from this block of the vineyard.
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...
We separated the entire lot into 1 ton, open-top fermenters, employing traditional punch-downs by hand in order to achieve optimal extraction. About 5% of the fruit was fermented as whole clusters. The wine was aged in French cooperage, and gently racked once prior to bottling. At racking time, we identified four barrels of exclusively Swan Pinot Noir that showed exceptional depth of flavor, rich textures, and a long finish, and we kept these separate for this special bottling. Grapes, must, and wines were moved using gravity through to the barrel and using inert gas through racking and bottling. 84 cases produced.
This is a brooding Pinot Noir, emphasizing dark flavors and rich textures. The initial nose is subdued, hinting towards dried cranberries and blueberries with ripe plums accented by cacao, clove, cardamom, cinnamon and a whiff of kirsch and dried rose petals. The palate opens with more spices and mid-palate of plum and black cherry. The palate continues to develop richness, a significant tannic mouth-feel and bramble berries. The weight is nicely counter-balanced by a bright acidity, and the finish moves again towards spices and dried fruits, tobacco and dark chocolate. We expect this wine, which is 100% Swan selection Pinot Noir, to continue to add profundity and soft, rich earthen textures and flavors over the next 3-5 years. After that, we expect an additional decade of opening and nuanced aging.