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2009 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.  A few years later, we planted a second block of Dijon 115 vines to balance the deepness of the Swan, emphasized in these soils, with some floral aromatics.  We chose two barrels from the Dijon block for this years special Toyon bottling.
About the Vintage...

Late spring rains helped the vines to bounce back from the stress of the previous year with healthy and vigorous growth, although yields remained on the low side of average.  Steady temperatures temperatures promoted even development and led to an early harvest.  The fruit was in the hopper long before the unseasonably early beginning of the autumn rains.  All in all, the vintage provided superior structure coupled with piquant fruit flavors and lively aromas.
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 an array of French cooperage, nearly half new, and gently racked once prior to bottling.  Grapes, must, and wines were moved using gravity through to the barrel and using inert gas through racking and bottling. 97 cases produced.
Tasting Notes...
A brooding, well-structured, rich, and textural Pinot Noir.  The nose is pronounced and spicy, opening with dried cranberry and floral notes, well-spiced with clove, cardamom, and cinnamon, over top aromas of plum and strawberry and cocao.  The palate is dominated by an almost visceral layer of mouth-coating tannins and mid-palate flavors of cherry, plum, strawberry, bramble berries, and balanced with a bright, palate-lifting acidity.  The palate moves seamlessly towards a darker finish, with the fruit flavors developing into a dried fruit complexity coupled with tobacco and dark chocolate and a zesty minerality.  This wine possesses a wonderful structural balance between acidity and tannins and promises to age gracefully, plumbing the depth of its hidden layers for the next 10-12 years.