2021 Sierra Del Mar Vineyard Pinot Noir, Clarksburg
The grapes for this wine come from various cool climates in California such as the Clarksburg Delta area near Sacramento known for its cool afternoon breezes from the San Francisco Bay which moderate the warm days allowing for ample sun light into the canopy by day and a cooling off period well before sundown. We also use Monterey County Pinot Noir grapes whose mornings are dotted with coastal fog which balance the days with cold mornings. We pick the grapes when very ripe. When fully developed, we pick the grapes in the morning when the vineyard is cool and the grapes are cold. This makes it a little challenging to sort them at 7am on the crush pad, but worth the effort. After destemming the grapes into tank we do a 48 hour cold soak to ensure ample skin contact as our goal is a 6 day fermentation and extended maceration to 9-10 days total skin time. After primary fermentation and maceration is complete, we drain the tank and press the remaining skins and combine both free run and press fractions. At this stage we encourage malo-lactic fermentation in oak so as to integrate early with lactones which stabilize color and marry spice and vanilla flavors. The wine then matured on oak for 9 months without racking until bottling.
I love drinking Pinot Noir on its own as it is a very complex and sexy glass of wine. But if you must this wine pairs well with roasted duck breast and served with sautéed cherry and mushroom glaze. It will stand up to a filet mignon with Demi glaze sauce and haricot verts. It also works well with duck confit and cassoulet as well.