2012 Pinot Noir, Riverbed
The progeny of grapevines located in the ancient, dried riverbed corridor of the Arroyo Seco AVA, this bottling is sourced from three contiguous vineyards: Cedar Lane, Griva and Zabala vineyards. All set in meager, nutrient-deficient topsoil which feature cobblestone beds of granite and shale, the locale of the riverbed channel 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 characteristics yet in concert the wine achieves a layered effect as multiple sites, growers and clones - three "Dijon" clones (115, 667 & 777) and three classic clones (Pommard (4), Martini (13) and La Tache - all join together.
Prior to bottling each vineyard lot is vinified separate from one another and all are aged exclusively in French oak (20% new). Ultimately blended together by winemaker Alan Phillips the wine is a composite of three distinct "Riverbed" properties and showcases the characters found in the finite terrain. In the bouquet aromas of red cherry and juicy black berry fruit are pronounced. In the recesses lies the intrigue as pomegranate and sandalwood mingles with earth, minerals, baking spice and exotic flowers. Richly textured, supple tannins are balanced with bright acidity on the palate.
92 points, Editor's Choice - Wine Enthusiast, Feb 2015: "This wine comes from three vineyards that sit atop a dry, ancient riverbed. The nose mixes sour cherry and toasted vanilla bean with scents of ginger and turned earth, while a soft mouthfeel frames flavors of cherry cola and beet juice."
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