2009 Bien Nacido Pinot Noir
Our Bien Nacido Pinot Noir comes from ten-year-old vines on the upper bench portion of the vineyard. The vines, Dijon clone 113 and 777, were planted between older Pinot Noir and have to struggle every year to get the nutrients they need. This leads to tiny yields (always less the 2 tons an acre without any green harvesting). On September 1st these grapes were picked at 4am at 50° F to avoid having to do any chilling of the fruit in the cellar. Because of the great ripeness this year, I used 50 % whole cluster in the fermentation. The fruit went through a 6-day cold soak before it began to ferment naturally. Punch down occurred one to three times per day as needed until the wine went dry and was pressed into French oak barrels (1/3 new).
The nose is dominated by crushed red cherry, wild strawberry, white pepper, cinnamon and clove. This wine is extremely aromatic and I love the way it jumps out of the glass.
On the palate the wine is very clean, and elegant. It has beautiful tealeaf, and cigar box with a sweet core and a refreshingly long finish. With some time in the glass lots of cola and complex tealeaf flavors emerge.