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.
Our 2010 Devoto Garden has been on by the glass at Millenium since mid January. This may be the last place (outside of our Wine Club) in SF where you can still get this vintage — only a few cases remain.
Shot from the top of the barrels; they do sway just a bit when a 160lb man (okay, 165-170 really) is up there topping them up… Went through all 15 barrels looking for any off aromas, tastes, chemistry. Liked the new barrels (Damy, Francois Freres). The one-year olds were sublime, always a favorite. I have a particular tight grained 2010 Taransaud barrel which by my lights continues to contribute a subtle weight and spice. Color looks nice, no? Some folks add enzymes and other products to their musts to enhance color — we do not. This year we did not add yeast: the ferment was strictly driven by the native yeasts on the grapes. This is the color the soil and fruit gave us, the color of good Pinot Noir we think: a shimmering brick red, not a deep ruby purple like a Cabernet or Petite Syrah. Here’s the aeration/titration set-up for assessing free SO2 in the wine. Free SO2 and pH are a predictor of molecular SO2, a critical factor in wines’ oxidative and microbiological stability. Time consuming to gather this data, but an important factor for my Pinot, where our goal is to neither rack nor filter prior […]
Pruning is about 80% complete at Devoto Garden, I was up last week to help in the 828 block. The vines are “cordon/renewal spur” pruned; each vine is 4 feet apart, each cordon/arm is 24″; the goal is to leave each arm with six “nodes” about 4″ apart, each node trimmed back to two buds on one of last year’s canes, which will become two fruiting canes this year. Simple, right? You’d be surprised… Pruned vines on right; those awaiting haircut on left. Wood left in rows to be mulched by tractor with flail. My over-matched, minimalist Japanese shears; need to get new ones more to the task of working the woodier spurs. A source of amusement to others in the field. Younger replacement vines will be bent to their training wires soon when things are a little wetter. Conversely, not great to prune when wet due to eutypia and other diseases spread by water that can infect pruning wounds.