The 2015 Vista Verde Vineyard Pinot Noir captures your attention immediately. Nosing the wine, pure cherry and berry aromas jump from the glass. Subtle notes of blood orange and mulling spices add a layer of complexity to the dazzling aromatics. In the mouth, the wine explodes with berry fruits, and expands across the palate with the signature chalky, mineral profile. Brazilian coffee notes punctuate this wonderfully expansive wine.
Vista Verde Vineyard is located a couple miles southeast of Hollister, California, near the small town of Tres Pinos in San Benito County. This heavy limestone vineyard is separated into blocks that include clones such as Calera, Canada, and Pommard.
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?