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2010 Russian River "Jouissance"

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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...
2010 was a challenge to the nerves as well as a chance for experienced wine makers to strut their stuff.  In other words, those with experience were advantaged with the working knowledge of how best to manage their vineyards and to keep their fruit clean and healthy.  Heavy spring rains were followed by a summer season that was significantly cooler than average.  A mid-season heat spike, with temperatures suddenly topping 100, left a percentage of clusters burned up and dried out.  The coolness helped to temper the vigor of this site and limited yield as well, producing dense flavors.  The fruit was in the hopper before the early fall rains bedeviled many area vineyards, so rot was not a problem.

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.   212 cases produced.

Tasting Notes...
As dense and hedonistic as ever, this vintage produced a wine of beautifully luscious flavors from this site.  Black cherry, cherry cola, plums, cassis, chocolate, 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, cinnamon, clove, 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 8-10 years.