Harvest 2006

This was the first year of my own label; prior to that, I was consulting for other people and their labels. I suppose I was a little more nervous than other years, so it was somewhat ironic that it should be the most challenging harvest I had ever experienced. It started out with torrential downpours in January and February with much of Napa and Sonoma counties experiencing flooding. The poor vines never seemed to dry our so when the rains came early - several times during the first week in October which was quite unusual - the vines didn't have much tolerance left. I was lucky enough to have sourced some amazing fruit and was making Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Sangiacomo Roberts Road Vineyard, located in the cool Petaluma Gap, and making Cabernet Sauvignon from the famed Monte Rosso Vineyard, located 1000 meters above Sonoma Valley. They are wonderful grapes, but all harvest relatively late compared to other Sonoma vineyards. It was important for my business plan to be making Pinot, Cab and Chardonnay, so when the Chardonnay blew up in a botrytis bloom after the second rain, I was panicked. However, I was again lucky to find some incredible Chardonnay (still on the vine, no less!) in a vineyard on Chileno Valley Road between the Sonoma and Marin borders. Again, a cool vineyard and a very late ripener (thankfully).


We picked about 2 tons of Pinot, which was incredibly nerve racking as I had never seen so much mold in all my life. The winery was a cloud of green dust! The Chard came in a few days later and just before the rains came in for the season, we got the Cab off the vine. Phew! Now let's see how we can make something wonderful.

Chardonnay - Peyton''s Vineyard, Chileno Valley Road

Tasting notes: Toasty marshmallow, vanilla, citrus oil, and pineapple share space with wet stone on the nose. The aromas are confirmed with round textures that give way to a long, steely, smoky finish.


Tasting notes: Toasty marshmallow, vanilla, citrus oil, and pineapple share space with wet stone on the nose. The aromas are confirmed with round textures that give way to a long, steely, smoky finish.


Balanced yet complex, this wine is ready to drink now but will cellar for another 3-5 years.


pH: 3.44

TA: 5.94 g/L

VA: 0.51 g/L

Alcohol: 13.5%

 

Harvested 10/26. Pressed to tank, settled overnight and inoculated with Montrachet yeast, then fermented in barrel. 100% French oak, 40% new oak (combination Damy, Billon, Remond). 100% native malolactic fermentation.

Appellation: Sonoma Coast

Clone: Old Wente

Rootstock: 110R

Bottled 9/5/07

150 cases produced.

 


Cabernet Sauvignon - Monte Rosso Vineyard

Tasting notes:

pH: 3.58

TA: 6.51 g/L

VA: 0.55 g/L

Alcohol: 14.8%

 

Harvested 10/27. A careful field sort, followed by another sort in the winery allowed us to choose the best berries possible. We destemmed the grapes and sent to tank for a 5 day cold soak. Inoculated with MT yeast and used the cooling to create a long, slow fermentation - finished in 5 weeks. Performed daily pumpovers to extract the beautiful fruit, without extracting too much tannin. Pressed to tank and settled overnight, then barreled down to 100% French Oak, 46% new oak (combination Taransaud, Vicard, Remond, Treuil, Francois Freres, Cadus). Native ML fermentation.

Appellation: Sonoma Valley

Clone: No clone, is a Monte Rosso field selection

Rootstock: 110R

Bottled 2/14/07

295 cases produced.

 


2006 Sangiacomo Roberts Road Pinot Noir

10/19/06 we picked early in the morning and after carefully sorting in the field and then a second sort in the winery. We got roughly 2 tons of 115 and destemmed (but did not crush) and sent the grapes to bin for a 5 day cold soak. The grapes were in terrible condition, I have never seen so much mold in all my life. There was green dust flying all over the winery! It was quite nerve racking. After 5 days, we let each bin warm up and inoculated with RC212 since the grapes were in such poor condition. We used gentle punchdowns to try to control the fermentation and gain the right amount of extraction of flavors and tannins.


After the Pinot fermentations were completed (roughly 6 days for each lot), we drained the lots separately and kept the must in order to press all 4 clones together (since the basket press can't press 1 ton lots) into press barrels. As usual, we pressed gently to avoid over extraction of flavors and most importantly, tannins. We settled overnight and barreled down slightly sweet to 100% French oak and about 30% new oak using Sirugue, Remond, and Cadus. We inoculated with EnoFerm Alpha ML culture for malolactic fermentation, stirring weekly to enhance the texture.


Harvested 10/19. After a judicious field sort and another sort in the winery, we destemmed the grapes (but did not crush them) and sent the must to bins for 5 day cold soak, 9 day fermentation. It rained the first week in October and the grapes weren't in the best condition, so we inoculated with RC212 to kick off the fermentation. Gentle punchdown regime enabled us to extract concentrated flavors and limit overextraction of tannins.

Tasting notes: This wine is a deep, garnet red color with beautiful clarity and brilliance.

The nose has hints of red currents, black cherries, and plums layered with vanilla, clove and a rich, spicy-earthiness. The sweet, velvety entry leads to a juicy mid-palate, with a consistent, long, layered, and harmonious finish.

Balanced and complex, this wine can be drunk now, but should age nicely for 8 - 10 years.

 

pH: 3.47
TA: 6.03 g/L
VA: 0.507 g/L
Alcohol: 14.2%

 

Harvested 10/19. After a judicious field sort and another sort in the winery, we destemmed the grapes (but did not crush them) and sent the must to bins for 5 day cold soak, 9 day fermentation. It rained the first week in October and the grapes weren't in the best condition, so we inoculated with RC212 to kick off the fermentation. Gentle punchdown regime enabled us to extract concentrated flavors and limit overextraction of tannins. Used the JLB basket press, pressed to tank and settled overnight. Barreled down to 100% French oak, 25% new oak (used combination Remond, Cadus, Billon, Francois Freres). Native malolactic fermentation.

Appellation: Sonoma Coast
Clone: 115
Rootstock:101-14

Bottled: 8/6/07
150 cases produced.