This is a fuller, broader style of Pinot Noir, indicative of the 2012 vintage—a perfect growing season by all accounts across all varietals. The nose of this Pinot Noir is complete and filled allspice, rose water and black cherries—the abundant, aromatic fruit in this wine is profound, plush and exotic. The palate shows brooding black fruit with a full, round mouth-feel, tongue curling acidity and savory satisfaction. The oak on the palate is focused, as is the tannin texture, which produces a fine glide over several minutes of distance in the finish.
Planted in 1956, the Bacigalupi family has some of the oldest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir plantings in the Russian River Valley. To walk this property is to walk through a slice of history. Many a great winemaker before me has sought out this prestigious vineyard designation and we are thrilled with our small portion of it. Comprised of 100% “Wente Clone,” the Bacigalupi Vineyard fashions Pinot Noir with a round, sophisticated and composed weight and character. Yields in 2012 were came in at 2.1 tons per acre, about average for Pinot Noir from this vineyard. The vineyard’s soil type consists of a light brown gravely loam with wonderful air permeation and water drainage. Harvest took place mid season in the Russian River on September 24th, with average degrees Brix of 26.9.
The fruit was hand sorted and de-stemmed into small, open-top fermenters. Adhering to Burgundian tradition and practices, the grapes in the open-top fermenters were cold soaked for 7 days until native yeast fermentation began. “Punchdowns,” or the mixing of the fruit during fermentation for proper extraction, was all by hand to not allow broken or split berries. The wine was carefully pressed after 18 days of fermentation, followed by native malolactic fermentation in 50% new, air dried Francois Frerres barrels. The cooperage produces tight grain, 3 year air dried barrels for us and there the wine rests, undisturbed, for a total of 14 months. This wine was bottled unfiltered.