2019 Charlie Clay, Russian River Valley
Russian River Valley
64% Calegari Vineyard 24% Dutton Campbell Vineyard 12% Palmer Estate Vineyard
100% Pinot Noir
With ample aeration, crushed fresh black cherry, pomegranate seed, dried violet petal, fresh herb and sweet forest floor make for an alluring nose. The freshness on the entry reveals flavors of red fruits and oolong tea leaf, swiftly counterbalanced by an intriguing umami element that lingers in the finish. This wine is just starting to show its layers of complexity and energy and will drink best over the next 8-10 years.
The beginning of the 2019 growing season brought numerous days of heavy rainfall. By mid-March, the vineyard weather stations had clocked 20% more rain than our annual average! As a result, the early vegetative growth of the vines was stalled, due to the saturated soil. But momentum quickly grew with warmer temperatures in late April, and the much dreaded bouts of rain during bloom time proved not to result in millerandage (unfertilized flowers growing into only tiny seedless berries). Fortunately, the ripening period was nearly perfect during late August to late October and pick decisions were made with the utmost patience as the weather allowed for extended hang-time.
Our 2019 Charlie Clay Pinot Noir combines fruit from three distinctive Russian River vineyards. We were able to tease out the subtleties of each by fermenting in three unique vessels. This allowed us to incorporate whole clusters and separate clones, as well as native yeast fermentations and a wide range of cap-management styles. We blended this unfiltered Pinot Noir barrel by barrel and the intricacies of our early work are exemplified in the final delicious, nuanced and classic Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.