2017 Charlie Clay, Sonoma Coast
100% Jack Hill
100% Pinot Noir
Our inaugural vintage of our Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is uncluttered by manipulative techniques. Its pure expression of high-toned red fruit, Asian spice, and violet petal dance beautifully from the glass. Sweet red cherry and earth tones marry seamlessly with perfectly positioned tannins and nuances of toasted oak. Still in its youth, this wine is just starting to reveal layers of complexity and energy. This wine will drink best over the next 6-10 years and age gracefully for many more after that.
The growing season for 2017 started off with a wet winter that continued through bud break in mid-March. The cooler than average spring, caused slow shoot growth but the vines quickly came into their own by early May when we experienced temperatures 10-15F higher than historical norms. Despite nearly perfect conditions for bloom and fruit set, the smaller than average clusters and fewer berries per cluster resulted in yields much lower than anticipated. Any unsettled weather is further amplified as the vineyards get closer to the coast thus, we were extremely happy for what mother nature delivered to us.
The 2017 Charlie Clay Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir comes from a very small single vineyard located in the hills between the towns of Freestone and Occidental. A total of about 1600 vines planted equally to a mix of Dijon clones and 828, captures both the delicate high-toned red fruit and earth tones typical of this growing region. The average growing temperature is 8-12F cooler and much winder than its Russian River Valley brother thus bloom and fruit set can be a very precarious time; however, it allows for extended hang time absent of brix spikes.