This is a unique and irresistible wine for the true Pinot N oir devotee. The grapes came from Windsor Gardens, a thirty-year-old vineyard situated on benchland in the northern reaches of the Russian River Valley. Planted to the old Martini clone, this is one of the few remaining "heritage" Pinot Noir vineyards in the Russian River Valley. I selectively harvested the crop from only non-irrigated vines growing on a small knoll.
I approached these perfectly ripe, deeply colored grapes just as any Burgundian winemaker would choose techniques that express the terroir and the character of the old vines. I included 25 percent whole clusters along with a high proportion of whole berries in the small, open-top fermenting tank. Using the slow, gentle process I call Methode a l'Ancienne, I cold soaked the grapes prior to fermentation to extract deep flavors and bring out the luscious texture. During fermentation I punched down the cap by hand several times a day.
This sensational wine has a penetrating cherry aroma, finely underscored by a fresh, pure profile that extends throughout its velvet finish. Beneath the smoldering fruit there is a multitude of complex layers, suggesting this wine will age with intensity and grace. For this very limited release I produced just over 400 cases.