2012 Pinot Noir – JSV

John Sebastiano Vineyard / Santa Rita Hills

This wine comes from the John Sebastiano Vineyard located in the prestigious Santa Rita Hills AVA. The vineyard site is series of rolling hills with windswept ridges and gentle slopes. The soil is a blend of sandy loam with integrated limestone benches. My section of the vineyard lies at the bottom of the slopes protected from the windy springtime breezes. The ideal southwestern exposure, combines to yield fruit of uncommon complexity and concentration.

Tasting Notes

This wine shows warm and rich fruit flavors which were developed throughout the growing conditions of the 2012vintage. It has a nice, darker red fruit aroma, dark cherries, with a touch of tobacco, earth and spice. A quarter of the wine was fermented with whole clusters, and this really shows on the palate both in flavor and texture. There is a pretty richness, indicative of the clone, 667 and 115, and the vineyard site. This wine will age nicely for years to come.

In general, the 2012 vintage provided Pinot Noirs that tend to reflect the “Sun Year.” These are wines that are impacted by the climate throughout the growing season. There tends to be slightly darker and riper berry flavors that are in beautiful restrained balance. The chemistry of the fruit will yield wines that can age gracefully and have beautiful balance.

Winemaking Notes

Harvested: August 30, 2012 and at 23.3 Brix
Clone: 667 and 115
TA: 6.4 gm/L
pH: 3.56
Alc. 13.2%
Bottled: November 2012
Production: 336 cs / 6 packs

Twenty percent of the fruit was placed into the fermenters as whole clusters and the balance was destemmed. The must received a “cold soak” period of four days prior to inoculation with Aussmanshausen yeast. I like this yeast, as it has a slow build-up phase before it really starts fermenting, thus allowing more time on the skins during the initial phase. The must was basket pressed after 11 days on the skins. Malolactic fermentation completed in late November. The wine was aged in 100 percent French oak (Francois Frères Vosges M+ and Francois Frères Allier M+), of which 20 percent was new.