My friendship with Ted Klopp goes back to 1989 when he first planted Pinot Noir on his Laguna Road ranch. I suggested Ted plant a combination of two selections: the Joseph Swan and the Pommard clone from Burgundy. Both grow beautifully in the Russian River Valley, rewarding winemakers with powerful fruit.
The Klopp Ranch is located at the heart of the Russian River Valley, in a region I call the "Golden Triangle," an area of well-drained Goldridge soil with perfect Pinot Noir climate. Ted and I work closely throughout the growing season. We thin the fruit to maximize flavor, and, in recognition of his dedication to quality above quantity, I purchase Klopp grapes by the acre, rather than by the ton.
I selected the grapes for the 1999 Klopp Ranch Pinot Noir from a block of Swan clone vines. Using Methode a I' Ancienne. I was able to extract an expansive spectrum of fruit aromas and flavors-cherry, plum, blueberry, and raspberry. This labor-intensive process includes cold soaking, partial whole cluster fermentation in small vessels, and hand punch downs. Aging the wine in 78 percent new French oak barrels for ten months has produced an eloquent interplay of fruit and oak.
The wine has both intensity and finesse, an enchanting combination. Dense layers of fruit distinguish this exuberant wine; spicy and toasty elements add further depth. This stunning 1999 Klopp Ranch Pinot resonates with flavors that continue through the lingering finish.