2014 Cherry Bomb, Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
Remember the excitement of lighting your first cherry bomb? The spark, the fizzle of the fuse and the anticipation of the explosion that followed. The same is true about uncorking an authentic Pinot Noir. Pouring it into the glass, examining the deep garnet color and nosing the intense fruit and tasting the explosion of ripe cherry fruit on the palate is as exciting as the genuine article.
Sourced from the Wood Ranch in the Russian River Valley, this is a blend of Pinot Noir clones including Pommard 4 and Dijon clones 115 and 667. The cool, foggy mornings and warm afternoons allow the resulting wine to show off its natural acidity while showcasing its Pinot Noir perfume. The 2014 vintage was a dry year with some rain in February which quenched an otherwise parched state. Bud break was early this year (in March) and flowering occurred in early May. The summer was moderate to warm pushing the harvest period to the earliest I had seen in sometime. Due to these factors, we were able to pick each clone at its optimal ripeness and by harvesting by hand into 1/2 ton macro bins in the cool morning time. At the winery we hand sorted the small clusters and destemmed into small open top fermenters. After a 3 day cold soak we inoculated the fruit with yeast and started the punch down process making sure that we submerged the cap 3 times per day throughout the fermentation. At dryness we allowed the wine to rest on the skins such that the skins were in contact with the juice/wine for 14 days after which time we drained the fermenters and gently pressed the skins on a champagne pressing cycle. The wine completed Malo-lactic fermentation naturally in barrel where it aged for 18 months in 2 year old (twice used) French Burgundy barrels. The wine was racked only 3 times as we find this varietal to benefit from minimal handling.