The beautiful garnet color of this wine is alluring. Prototypical in its aromatic profile, the 2016 Russian River Valley leads with dried rose petals, potpourri, red cherry, raspberry, and notes of Ceylon tea. Additional aromas of dried orange peel studded with cloves mix with vanilla bean and cedar shavings to perfectly compliment the primary fruit characteristics. Robust and rich on the tongue, the wine seems to fill every square inch of the palate. Flavors of maraschino cherry, ripe berries, and dried herbs combine to make a powerful flavor profile. The tannins are quite refined and convey a sense of sap and tenacity. Another excellent wine from a great growing region!
The Pinot Noir for this blend was sourced primarily from the Bacigalupi Vineyard, our Drake Estate Vineyard, and our Williams Selyem Estate Vineyard.
The 2016 vintage was an excellent growing season, and started out as the previous four vintages; with a warm and dry winter. Above average temperatures and modest rainfall in the winter months brought a normal bud break in all growing regions. The main difference in 2016 was cooler temperatures in late February, and increasing rain totals in March that helped slow down vegetative growth. The net result was a slightly longer vegetative cycle, a slower grape maturation cycle, and therefore a later harvest compared to 2015. These events allowed for perfect maturation of the grape tannins and flavor development. Flowering happened under normal conditions with a slight cooling trend in May, which ultimately prevented blockbuster yields. Temperatures after fruit set were normal, but as veraison approached there were a few heat spikes that jumpstarted the ripening process.
Harvest started with pleasant weather on August 10 in the Middle Reach Neighborhood vineyards (Westside Road). Weather in late August cooled, and by early September temperatures warmed up and dry conditions prevailed. The result was our core harvest was completed under ideal conditions by end of September.
Overall, the wines from the 2016 vintage exhibit wonderfully polished tannins due to long and slow grape maturation on the vine.