2016 Zotovich Vineyard Pinot Noir
This complex wine exhibits classic varietal characteristics with aromas of cranberry, baking spices, Bing cherry and spearmint. The entry is fruit driven with hints of toasted oak, wild strawberry, vanilla bean and chestnut, giving an element of earthiness to the midpalate. Finishing clean with fresh minerality and broad texture, the wine is a beautiful example of Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir.
One of the most iconic vineyards of the Santa Rita Hills, Zotovich Vineyard is close to the center of the AVA on Highway 246. Relatively sheltered from the cool ocean breezes, this site can get quite warm. Calcium rich soils combined with sandy loam and clay loam soils make for excellent growing conditions for Pinot Noir throughout the appellation.
The normal rainfall in 2016 really helped the vines by flushing the root zone a little bit, and as a result, we saw higher grape quality. Cool temperatures in August allowed us to bring in fruit at a steady pace without any major heat spikes. Additionally, the early pick of the Pinot Noir kept the natural acidity moderately high, resulting in a beautiful Pinot Noir.
After meticulous hand sorting, the grapes were destemmed and fermented in small open-top fermentors. A pre-fermentation cold soak of five days was used to increase color and density. Fermentation was achieved using a combination of both native and cultured yeasts with low fermentation temperatures giving soft phenolics and fresh aromatics over a total time of 10-14 days. The wines were then racked to 35% new French oak barrels for fourteen months of elevage.