Harvest 2007

Unlike 2006, which started out very wet and cold, the early part of 2007 was dry and warm. However, the actual harvesting was trickier in 2007 because of looming rains. In my experience, the vintage affects of 2006 created more restrained yet elegant wines for many Sonoma Coast Pinots and Chardonnays, while the 2007 vintage is proving to show more concentration (for much of Northern California – and for all cultivars), while still allowing for balance and complexity – perhaps the early and dramatic differences in weather are the main causes behind these apparent differences in our wines. Only truly Mother Nature knows.

 

2007 was a very deceptive vintage for us in that the actual harvest dates turned out to be a couple of weeks later than the originally anticipated dates due to cooling temperatures and scattered rains late in the growing season. The rains were almost a huge problem with every varietal, especially the late ripening Cabernet Sauvignon; but we decided to let it hang through several storms and eventually we got warm, dry weather enabling the vines to dry out and the grapes to ripen more fully.

2007 Sangiacomo Roberts Road Pinot Noir

Watching the weather and ripening closely and taking daily vineyard samples starting in mid September, we had to balance the risk of rain with the hope that the weather would warm up to give us the last bit of desired ripening. The weather did warm up and hold, so we decided to pick on Monday, October 8th. We started with a careful field sort, then a second sort at the winery. We then destemmed the grapes (no crushing) and sent the must to T bins for a 5 day cold soak. After 5 days, we let things warm up naturally and allowed the native fermentation to take off. During the 5 day cold soak and the 8 day fermentation, we used a gentle punchdown regime, which allowed us to extract the purity of fruit with just the right amount of tannins. We pressed the grapes in a 1.5 ton basket press and pressed the juice to tank to settle overnight, then we barreled down into 100% French oak, with 45% new oak (used combination Remond, Cadus, Billon, François Fréres). After primary finished, we inoculated with EnoFerm Alpha malolactic culture.

 

The wine is currently aging in barrel – we will bottle September 4th and bottle age until the wine is ready to release. Bottled on September 4, 2008. Yield: 140 cases.

2007 Sangiacomo Roberts Road Chardonnay

The Chardonnay vines are located very close to the Pinot block, so we were watching the Chardonnay as carefully as the Pinot, particularly due to the risk of a botrytis bloom. Although the grapes weren’t quite as ripe as we were hoping, the impending rain forced us to pick on Tuesday, October 9th. We sorted the clusters in the winery and pressed the whole clusters in the Europress (bladder press), then sent the juice to tank to settle overnight. We barreled down the next morning to 100% French oak barrels, using 40% new oak (combination Damy, Billon, Remond) and allowed for a native fermentation fermentation in barrel. After primary was completed, we inoculated with EnoFerm Alpha malolactic culture for a 100% malolactic fermentation.

 

Bottled on September 4, 2008. Yield: 160 cases.

2007 Monte Rosso Cabernet

We harvested on Tuesday October 23rd after calling the pick 2 weeks earlier, only to find the tractors could not get up the vineyard hills due to mud! We waited through another storm and were blessed with warm, sunny weather that dried out the clusters and enabled the berries to obtain the last little bit of ripening we needed. We sorted the clusters in the winery, then destemmed and sent the must to tank for a 5 day cold soak. After 5 days, we turned the cooling off and allowed the must to warm up naturally and inoculated with MT yeast. During the 5 day cold soak and 12 day fermentation, we performed daily pumpovers to extract the beautiful fruit, without extracting too much tannin. We pressed in the EuroPress (bladder press), settled overnight in tank, then barreled down to100% French Oak, using 60% new oak (combination Taransaud, Vicard, Remond, Gamba, Sylvain, François Fréres, Cadus). After primary was completed, we inoculated with EnoFerm Alpha malolactic culture.

 

To be bottled on February 9, 2009. Anticipated yield: 295 cases.