2016 Pinot Noir



What makes Pinot Noir Special: At its best, Pinot Noir is a delicate, feminine wine. The grape is thin skinned and since all the flavor of a wine comes from the skin, the wine is lighter in color than Cabernet, more floral, less tannic and much more subtle. The nose can be so intriguing that it alone can captivate, without ever tasting the wine. The flavors fill the palate from the center out, creating fullness without bombasity or aggression. When properly made, this lightness is enhanced with subtle nuances from the yeast, the fermentation techniques and the aging to create a memorable experience like no other wine.
The Appellation: The Russian River Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area) is one of the most highly regarded AVAs in the world for growing Pinot Noir. The Pacific influence and the geography makes the difference. The Pacific is cold, the interior of California is hot. The difference creates a marine layer of fog, that moves inland from the coast almost every summer night, lasting well into the next day. Hills and mountains running parallel to the coast moderate this marine influence. The River valley creates a gap that allows the marine layer to come further inland and stay longer before being burned off by the sun. This creates cold mornings and temperate afternoons in the Russian River Valley (RRV), perfect for the thin skinned Pinot Noir. Here they ripen slowly and avoid sun burn.
The Vineyard: Elieo’s Vineyard, is on the inland edge of the appellation. It is a bit warmer than the coast so the Pinot is less austere. It is a bit off the river so is less windy. Wind can disturb ripening. It is beautiful and all great grapes come from beautiful landscapes. Particular rows in each of the three clonal blocks are chosen for the blend.
The Vintage: 2016 brought us the new normal early spring and a perfect Sonoma summer, with degree days (sum of days x temperature average) in the center of the resent historical curve. Winter rains were ample, summer heatwaves short and harvest long and gentle. The 2016 wines mirror the evenness of the vintage by their abundant fruitiness and balance.
The Winemaking: The three clones were fermented separately, started on native yeast and then inoculated with pure strain. The last of the fermentation took place in the barrels. After Malo-lactic was completed in January the wine was stirred, sir-lees, for three to four months, monitored and timed by taste. Barrels used were 100% French oak, 20% new.
The Experience: The color is light and delicately transparent typical of the best Pinot Noir. A flowery, complex and varietally correct nose promises a true Pinot experience. Layered flavors expand in the mid palate in perfect balance, rolling backwards and expanding outwards, evolving into a lingering finish. Pinot Noir pairs with a wider variety of foods than any other wine.


Technical Data

100% Pinot Noir, Pommard Clones 777, 667, 115

Picked: September 12, 2016, 25.1 & 25.3 Brix: 22.2° to 23.5°. T. A: 7.8 to 8.2g/L.ph: 3.71 to 3.76 Yeast: Wild, RC 212. Vegan. SO2 at bottling 25 ppm, at release <12 ppm. Bottled 260 cases, March 29, 2018 Alcohol 13.7%, Residual sugar .37g/L (classified as dry)

Fined: Bentonite to settle lees and heat stabilize. Cold stabilized by temperature drop. Cross flow clarified before bottling, sterile bottled, no Velcorin.

2016 Pinot Noir