2013 Pinot Noir, Riverbed
This bottling is the progeny of grapevines located in the ancient, dried riverbed corridor of the Arroyo Seco AVA. Sourced from three contiguous vineyards; Cedar Lane, Griva and Zabala vineyards, all are set in meager, nutrient-deficient topsoil which feature cobblestone beds of granite and shale. In addition to the distinct terrain, the riverbed channel locale is also is noted for its extreme climate as forceful winds and dense fog persist throughout the growing season. Ultimately, each site has its own unique "voice" yet in concert the wine achieves a layered effect as multiple sites, growers and clones - three "Dijon" clones (115, 667 & 777) and three heritage clones (Pommard (4), Martini (13) and La Tache) - all join together.
Vinified separate from one another, each vineyard-specific lot of pinot noir was aged exclusively in French oak. Ultimately blended together prior to bottling, this offering is a composite of three neighboring properties and showcases the remarkable characters found in the finite, "riverbed" landscape. In the bouquet aromas of wild red-and-black toned fruit; including notes of raspberry, dusty cherry and pomegranate exude from the glass. Beyond the bramble fruit characters lies more intrigue as red apple peel and orange rind mingle with vanilla-cola, sandalwood, baking spices and candied violets (violettes de Toulouse). Richly textured, on the palate the wine is well-balanced with bright acidity.
92 points, Gold Medal - TASTINGS.com: "Garnet color. Bright, fruity, spicy aromas and flavors of cherry gelato, spiced pomegranate, and toffee with a supple, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an effortless, compelling, long marinated beets, roasted nuts, and spicy orange chiffon finish with light oak. A delightfully savory, smooth and well balanced pinot noir that will be very versatile." Beverage Testing Institute (4/14/2016)
89 points - Wine Enthusiast: "Fairly light in the glass, this bottling shows sharp pomegranate aromas with a gunmetal edge and a touch of cracked-pepper spice. Pomegranate also arises on the palate as does orange rind, tart cherry and an intriguing potpourri and lavender element." - M.K (9/1/16)
Vintrinsic: "Pale garnet red with clear purple rim. The nose is highly expressive, marked by a mélange of red cherry and red apple fruit along with a candied accent. There is a note of vanilla, but the oak is otherwise hidden, and there is a hint of white mint. In the mouth, the wine is mouth-coating but not heavy, with considerable glycerol and a distinct flavor of candy apple. The wine’s viscosity is offset by moderate acidity, providing freshness." Roger Bohmrich, MW (4/16)
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