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2009 Russian River

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About the Vineyard...

Gilbert Perezís two acre vineyard in the southwestern corner of the appellation, only nominally protected by the coastal hills and open to the maritime influence of the Pacific Ocean, is the single source for these grapes. The soils here are loose, sandy, and well-drained, typical for the Russian River Valley, and known for producing explosive and aromatic fruit flavors balanced with acidity and earthy aromas.  All seventeen rows are planted with Dijon 115 clones, which tend to add perfumed aromas and light spice notes to the lush fruitiness obtained from the soils.

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 (one day earlier than the previous year, in fact, for Gilbertís Vineyard).  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 fermented in our one ton, open-top tanks, layering the bottom 25% of each tank with whole clusters of fruit, adding structure and spice notes to the back palate and balancing the otherwise plush fruit of Gilbertís Vineyard.  A warm fermentation with a combination of native and isolated Burgundian yeasts produced excellent and focused flavor extraction, complemented and completed with traditional punch-downs by hand. The wine was aged entirely in Francois Freres cooperage, half new, and 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.   334 cases produced.

Tasting Notes...

The nose on this wine is uncharacteristically spicy, emphasizing a rich spiciness typically saved for the back of the palate for this wine.  Cinnamon, clove, and mint lay atop the rich black cherry, cherry cola, plums, cassis, strawberry pie, and tilled earth on the nose.  Similar dark and juicy fruit flavors explode on the palate, expanding throughout the mid-palate while also revealing hints of red fruits and underlying layers of pepper, vanilla bean, espresso bean, and cacao.  Smoky tannins draw out a finish of light strawberries and plums.  Time will temper the structured opening somewhat and bring out subtle layers of spice and the silken texture that hides behind the powerful fruit for the next 5-7 years