2010 Pinot Noir, Estines Vineyard
We are very excited about this 2010 Pinot Noir. We have been growing our vineyards organically for the last eight years and have been looking for other certified organic fruit. The Estines family had just become certified organic (CCOF) with their small vineyard in the heart of Pinot Country– the Russian River Valley. This vineyard is only three acres planted with three different Pinot Noir clones. We were immediately impressed with the small cluster and small berry size as well as the dark color and concentrated flavors of the fruit, typical for organic vineyards. Organic farmers are not allowed to use any chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. Without nitrogen fertilizers, typically used to increase the vigor and production of a vineyard, organic vines yield the smaller crops that winemakers seek because they usually make more concentrated wines. The ripe fruit was de-stemmed and crushed into small one-ton fermenters and chilled using dry ice. This allows the juice to begin to extract flavor and color from the skins before fermentation begins. After a week of maceration, the must was allowed to warm up and wild yeasts began fermentation. At dryness, the skins were pressed out using a gentle basket press to ensure no astringent tannin. The wine is pressed directly into French Burgundy barrels (50% new) and aged for 18 months. The wine is deep and dark, with black cherry fruit as well as complex aromas of coffee, tobacco and clove. Although it is drinking nice right now, this wine will benefit from another two to six years of cellaring.