2010 Balverne Russian River Valley Estate Pinot Noir
In The Vineyard: 2010 was a challenging year in many regions of California due to cooler than normal temperatures, but for Pinot Noir it turned out to be a very good year. The longer growing season meant some sleepless nights worrying about late rains, but the end result was perfectly ripe fruit with fully developed flavors. Fruit was harvested by early October with excellent balance of sugar and acidity.
In The Winery: This Pinot Noir was produced by the original winemaker for Windsor Oaks, Julie Lumgair. The Pinot Noir fruit was hand picked and hand sorted, then fermentation was begun under cool temperatures. Individual vineyard blocks and clonal selections were kept separate to track their unique flavor and aromatic profiles in order to determine the final blend. The wine was fermented in very small open top fermenting bins and carefully hand punched down, an exacting process reserved for the finest wines. We use a selection of new, one year old and two year old French oak barrels for aging. The wine was given eight months in oak prior to bottling. Each individual lot was carefully evaluated before making the final selections for the blend.
Tasting Notes: Dark ruby, with forest floor and bramble aromas mixing with a soft berry compote that give the nose a bright lift. After time, another subtle layer appears, revealing tobacco, supple leather and soft spice. Broad and fresh on the palate, with an initial rush of sweet dark berry fruit, tart plum, later joined by leather, bramble, tobacco and a hint of fresh thyme. Bright and slightly firm, this well-structured wine has a long finish with fruit that quickly tails off to a delightful earthiness, with sandalwood and spice.