2018 Charlie Clay, Russian River Valley
Russian River Valley
70% Calegari Vineyard 15% Dutton Campbell Vineyard 15% Palmer Estate Vineyard
100% Pinot Noir
Perfumed aromas of fresh black cherry, crushed black raspberry, hints of cola berry, magnolia petal and sweet loam waft from the glass. On the palate, the entry is full, followed by a firm mid-palate. Balanced flavors of dried-black tea leaf, candied black cherry and hints of black truffle give way to a fresh and long finish kissed by sweet oak. This wine is just starting to reveal layers of complexity and energy and will drink best over the next 8-10 years.
The 2018 Charlie Clay Pinot Noir is a blend of three Russian River distinct vineyards. We were able to tease out the subtleties of each vineyard by fermenting in three unique vessels. This allowed us to incorporate whole cluster, separate clones, use native yeast fermentations and employ a wide range of cap management styles.
As a result, when we blended this Pinot Noir, we blended barrel by barrel. The intricacies of our early work are exemplified in this delicious, nuanced and classic Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.
The 2018 growing season started off with a moderately dry winter. If not for a wet March, we would have never hit our average rainfall. Due to the warm weather in February, bud break came 7-10 days early, but shoot growth stalled due to the wet March and cool April. Vines finally reached their growth potential by mid May, when temperatures leveled off in the mid 70s to mid 80s, leading to nearly perfect conditions for bloom and fruit set.