My relationship with Ted Klopp dates back to the late 1980s when I advised him on clonal selections for his then-new planting. Today, we still harvest fruit from the oldest blocks planted to the Pommard clone and a selection from my mentor, Joe Swan. To this base blend, we add some Dijon 115 and 667 planted in later years. This vineyard is planted in one of my favorite areas of Russian River Valley that I have nicknamed “The Golden Triangle.” This eastern slope of the Laguna Ridge is blessed with deep, sandy Goldridge soils, creating the well-drained environment key to producing this distinctive Pinot.
A deep garnet color portends a wine of depth and richness. We are not disappointed, as this vintage has given us a classic Klopp Ranch — luxuriant with black raspberry, brambleberry, berry compote, blackberry pie and very ripe Bing cherry. The aroma expands with hints of lavender, cassis and toasted brioche. Earthy notes reminiscent of mushrooms sprouting on a forest floor, along with smoky bacon, add highlights.
The palate is bright on entry with inviting dark fruit, cocoa and cola. Tannins are firm but round and rich while the finish shows off black pepper and dark cherry. Good acid balance keeps the wine lively and foretells a long future for this Pinot.
Food and health blogger Joanne Williams has provided us with another great pairing recipe — her own Ratatouille. She has come up with a low-fat version that is quite delicious with Klopp. Enjoy learning how to prepare this dish by visiting our recipe section at merryedwards.com.