As we say goodbye to Windsor Gardens, this final vintage gives us one more look at an extraordinary vineyard. This treasured, heritage vineyard was planted to the Martini clone over thirty years ago. Its dry-farmed vines produced fruit of kaleidoscopic complexity.
In the cellar, I used Méthode à l’Ancienne – gentle, time-honored practices such as cold soaking, whole cluster fermentation and submerging the cap three times daily. The wine aged ten months in French oak barrels from a singular cooper, Dargaud & Jaegle. The barrels are uniquely well-matched to this vineyard, lifting and complementing the generous fruit.
A Pinot drinker’s Pinot, the wine leaves impressions of chocolate covered cherries, coffee, dark plum, earth, cola and blackberry. Succulent, sweet and rich, the wine has a lasting finish with fruit and tannin gracefully interwoven.
This is the last vintage for the venerable Windsor Gardens vineyard. A developer removed the old vines after the 2003 harvest to make way for new homes. I was privileged to make Windsor Gardens Pinot Noirs for five vintages, beginning in 1999. I consider these bottlings to be among the most penetrating, intense and collectible wines I have produced.