I am fortunate to work with the finest winegrowers in the Russian River Valley and to receive from them, year after year, superb Pinot Noir fruit. Three family-owned vineyards provided the grapes for my I 998 blend, and each of these sites made a distinct contribution to the wine. The grapes from the Dutton Family's Jewell Vineyard provided a sweet, juicy, cherry Jberry framework. Ted Klopp's vines, located in the temperate "banana belt" of the appellation, delivered grapes with concentrated flavors of blueberry and spice. The fruit from the Pellegrini Family's famed Olivet Lane Vineyard expressed classic Russian River Valley characteristics: black cherry and plum.
I fermented the yield of each vineyard separately, selecting individual regimes and choosing French oak barrels from various coopers. I tasted and evaluated the developing wines throughout eleven months of aging, and created the final composition by blending numerous, small lots. This wine captures the characteristics of all three vineyards, expressing the finest qualities of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.
An alluring, luxurious wine, this Pinot Noir offers heady aromas of rose petals, violets and spice. The flavors-Queen Anne cherries, almonds and plums, interwoven with exotic spices-are well integrated, engaging and harmonious. The wine is silky and lush on the palate, and the finish resonates gracefully.