This turned out to be one of the best vintages I can remember in terms of easy and lack of stress – a nice change after the challenging 2011 vintage. The days were warm and the nights cool allowing for ample maturation, occurring at a healthy and reasonable pace.
There was a rain event during shatter and again in early October, but things dried out and that allowed for some grapes to hang well into November – allowing the grapes to ripen to their full potential.
We picked early the second week of October, which seems to be the typical time for our pick. I once again received Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Sangiacomo’s Roberts Road Vineyard. I decided to pick 3 clones 777, Swan and 115 – I kept them separate in order to allow them to ferment and barrel age independently, in order to track the development of each clone individually to learn more about the Pinot Noir from this fabulous vineyard.
I once again received the Old Wente Chardonnay clone from Roberts Road. Having the ample hang-time with no impending rains was a luxury; it is rare that the rains aren’t either pushing us to pick, or quick on our heels post pick. This was truly a lovely year – hopefully the wine quality will reflect that.
I do feel the wines will be more concentrated and complex compared to the 2011 vintage.
Wines from our 2012 harvest
Pressed whole cluster in Europress to tank and settled overnight.
Barreled down next day, for native 100% barrel fermentation. 100% French oak, 36% new. EnoFerm Alpha for malolactic fermentation. 11 mos in barrel.
Sun-kissed golden color, this wine shows aromatics of lemon-meringue crossed with golden poached pear and white peach. Its lean entry opens to explosive flavors of citrus zest, orange blossom with subtle yet structured, lingering oak finish.
Balanced and complex, this wine is drinkable now, but should age nicely for another 10 or more years.
Clone: Old Wente
Native fermentation, and inoculated with EnoFerm Alpha for malolactic fermentation
Cooperage: 100% French, 35% new. 10 months in barrel.
TA: 6.0 g/L
777, 115 and Swan – destem and crushed, clones went separately into bins for a 5 day cold soak, native fermentation, drained each lot separately and pressed together into a press barrel. Inoculated with Enoferm Alpha for malolactic fermentation.
11 months in barrel, 100% French oak, 35% new. All barrels were combined into final blend.
For the Pinot Noir:
Black current in color, there is a youthful dark cherry, roasted fig with cassis earthiness on the nose. Mouthwatering and juicy flavors of violet and pluot, sweet orange peel and jasmine tea. A long and lingering finish leaves you wanting more.
Balanced and complex, this wine is drinkable now, but should age nicely for another 10+ years.
Clone: 115, Swan and 777 – Blocks 11, 21 and 15
100% destemmed Pinot Noir, 5 day cold soak, native fermentation in open-top fermenters. Two punch-downs per day. Inoculated with EnoFerm Alpha for malolactic fermentation.
Cooperage: 100% French, 35% new. 11 months in barrel.
TA: 6.0 g/L
Harvested: 10/8/12 and 10/9/12
Produced: 220 cases