91 Points (Wine Enthusiast)
Nicely textured, this weaves strawberry fruit with elements of parsley and graphite in a well-balanced, medium-weight wine. The tannin management is spot-on, firm but polished, and the overall mix of fruit and acidity and tannins suggests that this will cellar well for up to a decade.
AVA: Ribbon Ridge
LOCATION: North Valley Rd.
SOIL TYPE: Wellsdale
CLONAL MATERIAL: 50% Pommard & 50% Dijon 777
VINEYARD SIZE: 30-acre vineyard
VINIFICATION: Pommard fermented in 1.75 open-top fermenters, 100% destemmed, Wadensvil also in 1.75 ton fermenters done 60% whole cluster.
OWNERS: Patricia Green Cellars
PICKING DATE: 9/30, 10/02 and 10/04/17
PRODUCTION: 615 cases bottled
Wine Making and Notes: This bottling has always been the powerful view of this vineyard site and we still have blocks in the vineyard in the 7-20-year-old range that have not made (will not make?) the change to the far more stylish and mineral-driven Estate Old Vine style. That is fine. Our Estate Vineyard is fairly large and incredibly diverse so having two wholly different wines coming off of it is hardly surprising or in any difficult to deal with. To us, this is the exciting part of Pinot Noir and vineyard management, and the marriage of the two in winemaking. The wine is dark in color, dense in earth-tinged dark fruits and relatively thick with tannins. However, as the vineyard has aged, fewer blocks are still producing this style of wine that seems to be indicative of the young vines. This comes from just three blocks: a 1998 southeast-facing planting of Pommard, a 2000 south-southeast facing planting of Pommard at lower elevation and a 1997 planting of Wadensvil that faces northeast and northwest. The wine is mostly Pommard with just a touch of the Wadensvil rounding it out. The composition of this wine changes regularly vintage to vintage. The Pommard was 100% de-stemmed, went through a standard cold soak of about 4-7 days depending on the block, fermented in 1.75-ton open-top fermenters and was pigeaged 1x/day before being pressed and allowed to settle for 3 days. The Wadensvil was done as 60% whole cluster and despite the difference in clone and whole cluster fermentations the fermenters and the handling of the fruit in fermenter were the same. This spent a little less than a year in barrel with 20% being new and the rest that were previously used between two and six times so there is minimal oak influence in this wine. These vines do not have the root depth of the significantly older sections of the vineyard and therefore do not necessarily feed upon and drink the same material. Since we dry farm these younger vines, even at 16-20 years of vine age they are still under a bit of duress. This leads to small, tight clusters and fairly thick skins. This gives the wine its trademark dark, almost purplish color and hefty, dense tannic structure. This is filled in quite easily by liqueur-like dark fruit. This can be a bit savage in nature when youthful but it comes around surprisingly fast and, of course, is good for years and years.