2010 Pinot Noir, Oehlman Vineyard
2010 was a wacky growing season. A cool summer punctuated by a devastating heat spike in September. Fortunately our Pinot Noir, being in the heart of Russian River Valley, was unaffected by the heat. The overall cool summer weather allowed the Pinot Noir grapes to retain their essential acidity, while gaining full flavors. As it turned out, 2010 was quite an impressive year, especially for Pinot Noir.
The ripe fruit was de-stemmed and crushed into small one-ton fermentors 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 tannins. The wine is pressed directly into French Burgundy barrels (50% new) and aged for 18 months.
The Oehlman family has been farming their land on Vine Hill Road for five generations. The vineyard is planted with Martini clone Pinot Noir, which is one of the original clones planted in Russian River Valley. Our Oehlman Vineyard Pinot Noir seems to always gain complexity with age and only gets better. We find that 8 months makes a big difference, try to wait until the fall. Two to three years is optimal but it’s hard to wait when it tastes so good right now! A bouquet of cherry and strawberry mixed with aromas of tea leaf and spice entice you to take a sip. Flavors of cherry, and earth tones with spice fill the palate and finishes with hints of vanilla and caramel.