It is unusual to have two fabulous years in a row, but 2013 was another great vintage. The vines ripened quickly and it appeared as though we would be harvesting 3 or so weeks ahead of schedule.
However, even though harvest did begin early in parts of Sonoma County, after a couple of heat spikes in late August and early September, the weather began to cooperate and ripening slowed. We ended up harvesting a little over a week ahead of schedule and picked the Pinot on September 26th.
This year I decided to make the same 3 clones – 115, 777 and Swan, but this year I co-fermented them in a jacketed tank, after picking them all on the same day. For all the prior vintages of Blagden, I fermented the clones separately, drained and usually pressed them separately, allowing them to barrel age individually in order to learn more about these various Pinot clones. Kept separate, I was able to watch how flavors, textures and aromas evolved for each of the clones. I could then evaluate each of the barrels individually to be sure they were good enough for the Sangiacomo blend. Of course, every year, every barrel was good enough for the Pinot. Hats off to the Sangiacomos – they know how to grow great grapes!
This year, the final Pinot blend is layered, textured and voluptuous. It is an exciting wine. I also made the Antonio Mountain Chardonnay again (like in 2006 and 2009), the vineyard is a colder vineyard located on the border of Marin and Sonoma and the grapes are always the last to come in. And this year was no different. The AM Chardonnays typically are more austere and somewhat Chablis in style, however this year the grapes came in riper than expected and the wine should show some fatness and concentration which in my experience is unusual for this vineyard.
Wines from our 2013 harvest
Pressed whole cluster in Europress to tank and settled overnight. Barreled down next day into 100% French oak, 25% new and inoculated with DV10 for 100% barrel fermented Chardonnay. Inoculated with EnoFerm Alpha for malolactic fermentation. 11 mos in barrel. Bottled August 25, 2014.
Honeyed yellow in color the nose is rich sultanas crossed with sweet, ripe mango and Crenshaw melon. The soft and viscous mouthfeel leads to delicate jasmine blossom, mandarin orange and honey-vanilla notes that transition with a long, lingering and focused finish.
Balanced and complex, this wine is drinkable now, but should age nicely for another 10 or more years.
Clones: Old Wente Clone
Inoculated with DV10 yeast, barrel fermented and inoculated with Enoferm Alpha for 100% malolactic fermentation. 100% French oak, 30% new. 10 months in barrel.
TA: 6.3 g/L
Produced: 100 cases
777, 115 and Swan – destemmed and crushed, clones went together into a jacketed tank and we cooled way down for a proper 5 day cold soak. I allowed for native fermentation, drained and pressed to barrel. Inoculated with EnoFerm Alpha for malolactic fermentation. 11 months in barrel, 100% French oak, 30% new. Bottled August 25, 2014.
Reddish-purple in color with a rich and sweet, mouthwatering dark plum, black tea and leather on the nose. After a voluptuous entry, the wine explodes on the palate with black cherry, clove, cranberry and black currant with a long and balanced finish – the layers unfold in your mouth. This is a round, lush and well-integrated wine.
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, 38% new. 11 months in barrel.
TA: 5.0 g/L
Produced: 200 cases