Thomas Rivers Brown: “We selected specific barrels to create a dark complex Pinot Noir full of fruit, spice, and structure. In the glass, this wine exhibits a nearly opaque purple-red hue. Waves of aromas suggest red licorice, pomegranate reduction, pennyroyal mint, and lavender oil. The bold, dynamic palate suggests notes of macerated boysenberry, cedar shavings, black cherry, oolong tea, and crushed river rock. The entry of this wine starts with a fruit-forward expression and develops more structure and tertiary notes mid-palate, finishing with a pretty, floral quality. This wine is easily enjoyable now with its abundance of fruit and great natural balance and acidity.
The Vineyard: The Vineyard is located two ridgelines from the Pacific coastline where the microclimate ideally balances the cooler morning marine influences with warmer midday and afternoon temperatures. The site was developed by legendary vineyard manager Ulises Valdez Sr. working hand-in-hand with brilliant winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown. After extensive soil assessment, the duo determined California heritage clones would thrive in the warmer region and planted Calera, Mt. Eden, and Swan clones in the predominantly Goldridge loam soil of the mid-saddle and lower sections. Atop the hill, the silty clay soil was selected for growing Chardonnay, and Wente clone was planted. Valdez & Sons continues to meticulously tend our vines and each year brings forward the finest crop from which Thomas and his team are able to handcraft the most expressive wines possible.
The wine is a blend of 71% Mt. Eden and 29% Swan clones planted on the estate.
FMW 96 Points: This wine starts of with outstanding perfumed aromas of violets, cranberry, licorice, and red stone fruits. The medium to full palate of this youngster is delicate yet intense lush and flavorful, layered with fresh strawberries, and red stone fruits that burst with intensity. The wine concludes with a long, slightly early, fine-grained, and silky finish. Should age nicely.
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