With the sudden change from warm & dry weather to cool & foggy patterns in September, most Pinot Noir grapes in this region accumulated sugar very slowly in 2001. This allowed us to pick based on flavor and tannin ripeness without being worried about excessive alcohol in the resulting wine. Because of the long period of moisture on the fruit, not surprisingly, potentially destructive molds began to attack some of the grapes. Therefore, strict sorting of fruit and judicious, yet decisive use of SO2 at the destemmer (as in Burgundy) were essential to making superior quality Russian River Valley Pinot Noir in 2001. I was delighted during its entire time in barrel. It is very much like the 2000 version of this bottling except better balanced with less alcohol and ultimately smoother texture. While it will drink well soon after release, this is still a serious wine that will reward some bottle age. The accelerating interest in our Pinot Noirs has rather caught us by surprise. Fortunately, we were able to procure a larger area from the same vineyards as well as a new one so we can offer everybody more this year, and maybe have a couple of cases to show off next year too.