Thursday, September 16, 2010

2008 Stefania Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains

In 2008 the 30 year old Pinot Noir vineyard we sourced these grapes from was under our management and we took efforts to reduce yields and improve sun exposure to the vineyard. The vineyard is a mix of 'heritage clones' including Swan and Mount Eden. Located just a few miles from the Pacific outside of Corralitos CA this is a very cool site. The vineyard produced a total of just over 5 tons of grapes on 4 ½ acres or about 1 ¼ ton per acre. The thirty year old vines produced tiny clusters and intense small berries.

We harvested just over one ton for ourselves on the morning of October 3rd. The grapes were transferred to Chaine d’ Or and 100% destemmed and crushed for fermentation in two t-bins. We used no whole clusters this year due to the very small cluster size and a desire to limit stem tannin.

Final numbers on the Pinot Noir were Brix 24.5 and pH of 3.39. We gently punched down the must 1-2 times daily and fermented on native yeasts. The fermentation was slow to start again this year, allowing some pre fermentation soak time. We added Malolactic starter on 10/13 while the wine was still in bin and pressed the wine on 10/21 after eighteen day fermentation. The wine was allowed to settle in tank for 3 days then transferred to 1 new Sequin Moreau barrel and one used French oak barrel.

No further rackings were done on the wine and it was allowed to age on its fine lees until racked for bottling after 17 months in barrel. We extend the barrel aging routine on all our 2008's in an effort to manage the large tannins that resulted from small berries and clusters.

Final Alcohol 13.5% pH 3.59

Ruby red color, darker than the 2007. Raspberry, strawberry, rose and spice on the nose. The nose is very exciting on this wine. Soft velvety tannins carry red fruit, ripe berries and a hint of forest to a long finish with blackberry showing as the wine opened in the glass. The wine has ripe and ample tannins promising long life in bottle.

Release Price: $135 per 3 pack, $250 per six pack

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