93 Points - International Wine Report
The individual Walala Vineyard blocks were vinified and aged separately on lees. Clone 113 provided the core of the blend, ofering intriguing tropical flavors and layers of texture. Clone 115 provided a rich structural core and red fruit flavors. Clone 828 was fermented whole-cluster and blended in sparingly to add verve and complexity. The blended wine ofers balance and depth, displaying exceptional structure and tropical nuances.
Walala Vineyard possesses a breathtaking ridgeline that sits 1,200 feet above sea level, just inland from the Pacific Ocean near the coastal town of Annapolis. The maritime climate of this vineyard marks the extreme western edge of Pinot noir wine growing with success being determined by precise viticulture. The site’s gravelly loam soils provide an excellent foundation for clones 113, 115 and 828 that are planted on 3309C and Riparia Gloire rootstocks. This vineyard allows long hang time due to its close proximity to the coast, while the elevation gives the vines ample sunlight in which to ripen.
2020 was a challenging year across the globe as we managed through a pandemic full of unknowns and mandated lockdowns. In the Sonoma Coast, the grape vines woke up early and demanded their normal attention anyway. Work in the vineyards proceeded with smaller crews that practiced social distancing and wore facial coverings. Summer wild fires impacted many vineyards and hard decisions were made not to pick several vineyard blocks. We kept our focus on producing only the highest quality wine and only picked grapes and made wines that met our standards and that we were proud of. As a result, we bottled only a small quantity of Pinot noir that showed exceptional vintage quality. The individual Walala Vineyard blocks were vinified and aged separately. Clone 828 was fermented wholecluster to add verve and complexity. The blended wine offers balance and depth, displaying exceptional structure and tropical nuances.
Appellation: Sonoma Coast
Vineyards: Walala Vineyard
Varietal Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Fermentation: Open-top fermentation, Native yeast
Aging: 50% New French Oak
TA: 5.6 g/L
Bottled unfined and unfiltered September 2021
Cases Produced: 475
Rich, dark black fruits, blueberries, blackberry bon bons, cassis, fragrant violets, tobacco leaf, and baking spices. Long, plush tannins alongside its dense fruit character. The palate delivers baked berry crisp, black and red fruits, toasted walnuts, brioche and cedar on the finish.
Deep garnet-purple color with enticing and fragrant with notes of blackberry pie, Bourbon soaked maraschino cherries, Madagascar vanilla bean, mission figs, graphite, candied walnut, and cedar. Its palate provides big, round chewy tannins, stewed black plums, brambly black fruit, toasted nuts, char, and a touch of dark roast coffee.
Black cherry cordial, fresh blackberries, strawberry rhubarb pie, mocha, cedar, dark chocolate, and a hint of graphite on the nose. The palate is bursting with mixed berry compote, blackberry jam, cacao bean, and toasted walnuts on the finish. This wine has great texture that ultimately finishes with round, silky smooth tannins.