After counting Pinot Noir clusters in early summer 2021, we realized that our vines were bearing a very light crop and we would not have sufficient grapes to satisfy demand for our modestly priced Anderson Valley Pinot Noir. Most of the Pinot Noir vineyards in Anderson Valley are owned by wineries for their own production—similar to the situation of Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa Valley—and with many small wineries competing for a limited amount of fruit, Anderson Valley Pinot Noir grapes are fetching upwards of $5,000 a ton, making it economically impossible to produce a wine that sells for $22.50 a bottle, like this when purchased in a full or mixed case. Another cool, coastal appellation for quality Pinot Noir is Arroyo Seco in Monterey County, where grape prices are more reasonable thanks to the region's numerous vineyards and comparably few wineries. We arranged for two truckloads of fruit from Arroyo Seco; one from grapes grown on vines planted to the Pommard clone and the other from the Wadenswil clone popular in Oregon.
Ted opening the Europress to dump the red pomace after the grapes have been pressed. Red wine pouring into the press's juice pan
Alfredo washing barrels with hot water. This Pinot was aged 10 months in seasoned French oak barrels.
The grower harvested the grapes when they were about 24° Brix and the fruit we received looked great and tasted fully ripe. After destemming, we fermented the must with twice-daily punch downs to gently extract flavor from the skins. After pressing, the wine was racked to seasoned French oak barrels for 10 months of aging. The flavors suggest wild strawberry, lavender and sage with a long, smooth finish. Gold Medal-winner. 92 points.