Appellation: Chamisal Vineyard, Edna Valley
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Clones: 113, 115, 2A, 667, Pommard
Oak treatment: 9 months in 40% new French oak
Cases made :1,169
Release date: April 2011
Retail price: $38.00
Named one of "50 Great Wines of 2012" and rated "Excellent" by journalist Frederic Koeppel in his blog "Bigger Than Your Head."
Chamisal was the first vineyard planted in the Edna Valley in 1973 and now comprises 80 acres planted to 5 varieties and 25 clonal selections. Proximity to the Pacific Ocean creates a long temperate growing season with extended hang time, which combines with the calcareous, clay-rich soil to produce fruit with exceptional intensity and complex flavors.
The third year of a drought was combined with a cool spring and summer. A long, slow ripening curve followed by an early September heat wave created very concentrated flavors in the Pinot Noir. A cooler period in late September allowed us to pace our picking and gave greater differentiation to the blocks and clones.
Picked at night and hand sorted in the vineyard, the grapes were then gently destemmed and gravity fed into small, open-top fermenters. After a cold soak of five days, fermentation was started using both native and cultured yeasts with hand punch downs several times daily. After a fermentation of 6-8 days, the wines were drained off with press wine kept separate.
Five clones were used this vintage to create this Pinot Noir: A core of 113 and 115, two of the classic Dijon clones, is built up by the red fruit of 2A, the black fruit of 667 and the tobacco leaf and spice of Pommard.
The 2009 Estate Pinot Noir is a product of the cool and dry vintage, producing a wine of subtlety and complexity. This elegant Pinot offers raspberry, cranberry and distinctive Chamisal spice on the nose with hints of cedar and leather. The palate shines with the opulence and density you can expect from Chamisal, with ample red fruit and floral characters framed by classic French oak.