Russian River Valley
August 26th - September 3rd 2014
Barrel Aged 100% French, 35% new 15 months
March 17th, 2016
2014 Estate Vineyards Pinot Noir
Russian Hill’s Estate Vineyards provide a rich source of Pinot noir from various soil types and clones. The majority of the fruit is from our SunnyView Vineyard, located southeast of the winery in the Santa Rosa Plain region of the Russian River Valley. This vineyard’s soil consists of layers of clay and sand that seem to provide a good balance between water retention and drainage. The area is low lying with very cool, foggy conditions in both the spring and summer. As a result, yields are typically well below normal, except in more productive years where they might be considered “normal”. We planted this vineyard in 1999 to Dijon clones 667, 777 and Pommard; one additional acre was later budded over to Dijon 828. A small portion of this wine is also sourced from our home site, Tara Vineyard, which we planted in 1998 with Dijon clone 115. 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 tender new shoots in March. However Mother Nature tuned the tables by giving us one of the coldest month of May record. The cold weather resulted in some shatter in 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 Estate wine were harvested over a several day period from August 26th through September 3rd.
After sorting, the grapes were gently destemmed into small, custom designed open top fermenters and kept below 50°F for a five day cold soak. Tanks were then individually warmed to allow fermentation to take place in a timely manner followed by cooling, as needed, to maintain temperatures below 85°F. Thrice daily pneumatic punch downs took place during the cold soak and 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 unfined and unfiltered on March 17, 2016.