Despite the very long, hot, dry spell experienced right at harvest, we were careful to harvest the Pinot Noir before it became ‘cooked’ or ‘raisined.’ Fortunately, we had previously made sure that the vines were not leaf-plucked to the point of fully exposing these delicate grapes in case of a late season heat spike, which we normally get to some minor degree. At the time, we did not know how critical this choice would be. Careful sorting at the destemmer was still needed and long, gentle extraction during fermentation gave us some graceful Pinot Noir which shows no trace of the problems that many late-harvesters and heavy extractors have complained of. This bottling is from Russian River Valley lots that spoke more of the county in general rather than any specific appellation.
It has a color similar to the 2003 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. There are sesame and savory notes similar to the 2002 ‘Laguna’ Pinot Noir but there is also a red-fruited strawberry/rhubarb theme as well. Combined as such, these give the impression of a fruit tart. Mouth-watering acidity reinforces this impression but then steps aside just enough to reveal its moderately thick texture. Then, coming full-circle, the red-fruits and mild earthiness/savory re-emerge on the finish with a nice touch of spiciness. It really invites another glass.