Notes of freshly picked summer fruits of blackberry, strawberry, and dark cherry mingle with savory elements of fennel, anise, and clove-studded orange peel. Voluptuous at the front of the palate, the wine seems to envelope and saturate the taste buds. Flavors of dark fruits are counterpointed with notes of English breakfast tea. For as voluminous as the wine feels, there is graceful acid lift on the finish that carries a wonderful mineral sensation. A tremendous vintage for the Eastside Road Neighbors Pinot Noir.
The Pinot Noir for this blend was sourced from five unique sites along Eastside Road: Foss Vineyard, Calegari Vineyard, MacGregor Estate Vineyard, and Lone Oak Vineyards.
The 2015 vintage continues the hit parade of great quality vintages of the last four years. The season started under extreme drought conditions for the 4th consecutive season despite a wet early winter. January was very dry and warm and brought bud break earlier than expected by about 12 days compared to 2014. The rains returned in early February and dramatically slowed down the growth of the plants. May temperatures were some of the coldest on record and negatively impacted flowering and therefore fruit set. It was common for clusters to have millerandage, or a “hens and chicks” (big berry, little berry) phenotype, great for wine quality but severely limited yields. By the end of July the heat returned and, coupled with limited fog intrusion, the ripening process sped along quickly. In fact, harvest started on the last day of July…the earliest on record in the 36 vintages at Williams Selyem! Despite an auspicious start and a dramatic finish to the season, the 2015 wines may surpass some of the great recent vintages as they are bold and yet maintain their trueness to site. With superb color, structure and acidity, the wines have staying power, but with the wonderful texture and richness that are expressed today, who can resist them now?