2007 Napa Valley "Haynes Vineyard Old Block"
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About the Vineyard...
The Haynes Vineyard was planted in 1966, by Pat and Duncan Haynes, and we continue to farm a block of vines from this original planting. These are Martini-selection, head-trained, cane-pruned vines grown in a volcanic soil in what is one of Napa’s coolest micro-climates. This vineyard routinely records cooler growing season temperatures than Carneros, Russian River, and even the Willamette Valley. The vineyard has been managed by Fernando Delgado since 1970, and today he continues to coax healthy, fully-ripened Pinot Noir from this well-established and historic block of wizened old Pinot Noir. Louis Martini, Sr. had an early hand in the establishment and planning of this vineyard, and Andre Tchelistcheff was the first wine maker to work with the fruit from these vines. This is a one-of-a-kind vineyard, possessing a singular terroir, which we endeavor to give a full and unmitigated expression in this limited bottling.
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. The long, cool growing season nurtured these vines through a full and complete ripening, yielding fruit that possesses a focused fruit on the palate bookended by a perfumed and elegant nose and a lingering, mineral finish.
About the Wine...
This wine represents one of the most unique viticultural projects we have endeavored to undertake. One of the potential downsides in working with vines of this age and from this origin is the amount of old vines that have succumbed to viral infection. In order to cull only the finest fruit from the healthiest vines, we walked the entire block, checking each vine individually, and identifying and tagging the healthy, disease-free stock. At harvest, we picked only the ripened clusters from the healthy, tagged vines. We fermented the wine in an open-top fermenter, with traditional hand punch-downs. The wines enjoyed a lengthy eighteen months in Taransaud Bourgogne cooperage. 71 cases produced.
The key word for describing this wine is elegance. Lighter in color, gossamer in texture, this is a wine emphasizing grace and balance and subtle textures. The nose is airy and lively, belying its complex and layered nature. Initial fruits of strawberry, cranberry, and dried cherry intermix with butterscotch, blood orange zest, lilacs, rose petals, and sandlewood. The fruit deepens somewhat, giving whiffs of fresh summer cherries and ripened, cured black cherries. The palate is especially bright and expansive, with a silken texture. It finishes with a light, understated grip, and moves backward through the finish. The fruits and spices of the palate nicely mirror the nose, however the finish continues to evolve toward more earthen and mineral notes, as it coats the entire palate and continues to reveal new aromas. This is a wine that delivers a unique look into the history of California Pinot Noir, and it promises a long and vibrant life in the cellar.