Russian River Valley
September 5th, 2014
Barrel Aged 100% French, 40% new 15 months
March 17th, 2016
2014 Ellen's Block Pinot Noir
Ellen’s Block lies on a southerly facing slope just beyond the confines of our tasting room and enjoys some of the best views in the Russian River Valley. The soil is a heavy clay that is laden with river bed rocks suggesting the presence of a previous tributary of the Russian River at this site. Geological ageing of the stones is consistent with this hypothesis. Ellen’s Block was originally planted to Syrah in 1998 but replanted to clone 37 Pinot Noir in 2006. This vineyard was once again extremely slow to establish itself and produced only negligible amounts of fruit for the first four years. The 2014 growing season was another unusual year for the growing of grapes. Still in our record number of years of drought we had a very warm February which helped for an earlier than usual bud break of new shoots in March. However Mother Nature turned the tables by giving us one of the coldest months of May on record. The cold weather resulted in some shatter of the forming grapes and helped to reduce the overall crop load for the year. But in spite of that the developing grape clusters were large and allowed for a reasonably large harvest which arrived earlier than usual. The grapes for the 2014 Ellen’s Block wine were harvested on September 5th.
After sorting, the grapes were destemmed into tanks for immediate fermentation. A combination of tanks were used - small, open top tanks to enhance aromatics and produce a wine with a softer palate and larger closed tanks for better color and structure development. Thrice daily pneumatic punch downs and pump overs took place throughout fermentation. Once dry, the wine was gently pressed in a membrane press keeping free run and press fractions separate. Malolactic fermentation took place in oak barrels. The wine was bottled unfiltered on March 17, 2016.