We’re pleased to mention that our 2011 Pinot Noirs took gold and silver at the 2013 Best of the Bay Wine competition last week: gold for our 2011 Russian River Pinot Noir, and silver for our 2011 Green Valley. This is a competition open only to bonded wineries in the counties bordering the bay; this year there were 130+ wines entered, and they gave away 27 golds. A complete list of 2013 medal winners is here.
It has been a warm, dry winter and early spring throughout the Northcoast, and the vines are ahead of 2013, which was already an accelerated growing year. This year in addition to Pinot and Chardonnay, I am looking at Cabernet Franc around Healdsburg, with an eye toward making a medium-bodied, food friendly ‘Loire-valley bistro’ wine. Here are some shots from the Los Amigos vineyard, farmed by Hook & Ladder, where you can see flowering on this Cab Franc just starting. (These shots were taken in early May). Here’s Chardonnay from Inspiration vineyard, also just starting to flower. This year I’m planning on making more Chardonnay than I did last year.
Come visit us at the spring Vintner’s Market at Fort Mason on April 13th and 14th. It’s a great opportunity to try and buy wines from 100s of local wineries, as well as to enjoy a leisurely weekend afternoon on the water. We’ll also be pouring our pre-release 2011 Russian River Pinot Noir.
We are officially sold out of our 2010 Devoto Garden Pinot Noir, including wine club allocations. Our remaining award-winning 2009 Russian River Pinot Noir is also on allocation to the wine club only while it lasts; it is unfortunately no longer available to the public. There are limited amounts of our 2010 Russian River Pinot Noir and our 2011 Russian River Chardonnay still available through the website. We intend to release our 2011 Pinot Noirs soon. A bottle of our 2011 Russian River Pinot Noir will go out “pre-release” in our spring club shipment in April, and both 2011 Pinot Noirs will be made available for purchase through the wine club.
Last Thursday we bottled 52 cases of our 2012 Russian River Chardonnay: unfiltered, un-oaked, conditioned about six months sur lie in neutral oak, alcohol at about 13%. This fruit came from the “Jack Pierce” block off Olivet road: about a half acre of Chardonnay clone 4 farmed by our friend Randy Pitts of Harvest Moon. It was a gently pruned, very low-yield block: a little over a ton, which I picked just after Labor Day between 21 and 22 brix. This fruit is about a half-mile south of Jon Philips’ Inspiration Vineyard, where the Chardonnay in my 2011 came from. The lower yields and slightly more hands-off farming shows: this 2012 has big aromas and distinctive round layers of citrus, apple, banana, with a pleasing amount of acid to stitch it all together. We’ll let it settle in the bottle this spring and look to release it toward summer’s end. Big thanks to our bottling slaves, that’s Mr. Harris dumping glass and Ms. Leah Tracy doing pick and pack, yours truly on camera and tape gun.