2020 Pommard Clone Pinot Noir
With limited quantities available, this is a wine club member exclusive wine.
COMPOSITION: 100% Estate grown Pinot Noir, Pommard Clone
TA: 5.77 g/L
AGING: 12 months French Oak barrels
PRODUCTION: 2 barrels (50 cases)
This wine opens with aromas of candied cherry, strawberry and raspberry. The palate displays a vibrant burst of tart cherry, followed by fresh and floral with flavors of hibiscus and pomegranate. Unlike our traditional Pinot Noir, which boasts earthy flavors of forest floor, mushroom and wet river bed, the Pommard surprises us with a light, dusty earth. The Pommard Pinot Noir is an incredibly bright and food friendly wine. The high acidity will cut through rich foods beautifully.
A dry winter gave way to a status quo spring. Budbreak occurred on March 15th, right on time. We had a week of unexpected spring showers in mid-May, which caused a bit of shatter in the vineyard, but it was nothing too alarming. Summer arrived with sunny, even temperatures that hovered around the low 80s for most of June and July. Like clockwork, the grapes began to go through version at the end of July 2020. While COVID moved through the planet, and Napa Valley tourism evaporated overnight, it was hard to know which way was up, but we took tremendous comfort in a very average grapegrowing season and were hopeful for a quiet and uneventful harvest. But that definitely was not the case.
Harvest 2020 kicked off on August 14th, during Napa's first summer heatwave. It was 100 degrees and we picked one ton of Pinot Noir that would become the 2020 Pinot Noir Pet Nat.
The triple-digit heat continued for a few days, and on August 16th and 17th we experienced lightning storms -- not something we ever see during the summer months in California. This unusual weather pattern proved to be catastrophic. The lightning storms ended up igniting the “Lightning Complex Fires” in California, a series of 300+ fires that raged across CA, burning 375,000 acres. The kick-off to fire season was fast and furious, and we spent several days creating fire breaks around the perimeter of our ranch.
A week later on August 23rd, the heat subsided for a few days so we picked another one ton of Pinot that we fermented on its own and will age and bottle separate from the rest – to become our first single clone Pinot Noir: The Pommard Clone Pinot Noir.
The extreme heat returned the first couple of days in September, reaching 102 at our south Napa ranch, and as high as 110 in north Napa – very extreme temperatures! The excessive heat accelerated ripening, and we made a quick decision to pull the rest of our fruit on Labor Day 2020. So, at sundown on September 7, 2020, we began harvesting everything we had left in the vineyard. The crew finished up just after 2 A.M. The grapes came in beautifully, albeit the crop was a little lighter than usual. Thanks to the extreme heat, the berries were a bit riper than our usual target; had we left the fruit on for another few days in the heat, we would have been picking raisins. We're grateful that we pulled the fruit off when we did...if not for the potential to raisin, for the unprecedented weather that would soon hit California...
On the morning of September 9th, Californians woke up to orange skies and raining ash. The fires were burning far from Napa Valley, but weather patterns blew the heavy smoke towards us. We've never seen anything like it. "Raining ash" was the 2020 weather phenomenon plaguing Napa grape growers. We've saw growers using leaf blowers in the vineyard to blow ash off their fruit, and others giving their grapes a water bath before processing. A lot of work went into salvaging the 2020 vintage after the September 9th smoke event. And then, on September 27th the Glass Fire ignited in North Napa, and put an abrupt stop to any additional opportunities to pick grapes in the Napa Valley. The 2020 Napa Valley harvest proved to be one of the most challenging in history.
The Pommard Clone harvest commenced on August 23, 2023. We picked exactly one ton of fruit from Block 6, which is planted 100% Pommard Clone Pinot Noir. Grapes were delivered to winery, destemmed, and pumped into stainless-steel tanks to begin a 11-day fermentation on skin and seeds. Wine was pressed on September 4, 2020 and pumped into French Oak barrels to finish malolactic fermentation and begin aging. Wine was racked off of the lees three times over 12 months before being blended and bottled.
The Pommard Pinot Noir is an incredibly bright and food friendly wine. It boasts very high acidity that will cut through rich foods beautifully. Our favorite pairing is perhaps the most simple -- pair this wine with sweet potato chips or potato chips. The salty/fat flavors in chips enhances the light, fruit-forward nature of this wine incredibly well. For a more luxurious snacking experience, enjoy with truffle potato chips. Pairing the Pommard Pinot Noir with tortilla chips and salsa is also a delicious sensory experience. But for this pairing, the salsa is the key, because the acid in the tomato matches the acid in the wine. Meeting an acidic food with an acidic wine dulls the acid in the wine and really brings the bright red fruit and sweetness into focus. Likewise, this wine would be excellent to serve along side a Bruschetta with tomato basil appetizer. For something more substantial, pair with street tacos (pork, fish or chicken), or pasta tossed with freshly diced tomatoes and basil in a butter sauce. We find a creamy, aged brie to be the most complimentary cheese to pair this wine -- the strong acid in the wine makes this cheese taste creamier.
THIS IS A WINE CLUB EXCLUSIVE WINE. No Retail pricing is available.
Club Member Price: $55.25
Club Member Case Price (12 bottles): $663.00
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