Single Vineyard Pinot Noir from Northern Spy Vineyard
Made in the Heart of the Russian River Valley
Northern Spy Vineyard
This offering hails from our vineyard just outside the town of Graton, in the Green Valley area of the Russian River Valley. Acquired as an abandoned apple orchard, we had the opportunity to develop the area into our Northern Spy Vineyard. The wine from this cooler growing region rounds out our Pinot Noir blend with intricately layered dark fruits and mineral, while also giving it persistence and volume.
Appellation: Russian River Valley
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Harvest Dates: September 12-15, 2016
Fermentation: 4 and 5-ton open top tanks, 10% whole cluster
Aging: 15 months in French oak barrels
Winemaker: Andrew Delos
Director of Winemaking: Dirk Hampson
Release Date: November 2018
First Vintage: 2013
Northern Spy Vineyard’s 17.5 acres of double-Guyot-trained vines are rooted in the region’s famous Goldridge sandy loam soils, comprised of weathered sandstone and granite, with a fine, almost powder-like topsoil. Located in the Green Valley area of the southwest corner of the Russian River Valley, this vineyard enjoys very cool nights and mornings. Fog typically covers the vineyard from 6:00 pm until about 11:00 am during the summer months. Daytime temperatures typically hover in the low-to-mid-80s, encouraging vines that have intensely concentrated, small berries. The cool temperatures and less direct sunlight lead to vines that are harvested up to one month later than the much warmer Amber Ridge Vineyard.
A warm, dry spring woke our vines up very early in the year, with budbreak and bloom in late February to early March. Clusters ripened slowly and evenly over the warm summer months, with tannins and fruit flavors not showing full maturity until the first two weeks of September. Northern Spy was our last vineyard to be harvested, with our first grapes coming into the winery on September 12. From the onset of fermentation, the wines displayed lovely red and black fruit aromas with pronounced floral notes. Tannins were soft and elegant and colors ranged from a beautiful transparent purple to Bing-cherry red, resulting in wines that are lusciously perfumed and silky on the palate. The 2016 vintage is extremely pleasing upon release, but because of its balance and pedigree, will reward anyone who should choose to lay some down for 5–10 years or more!
The 2016 Northern Spy displays the hallmark aromas of Green Valley: intense floral perfume, bright Bing cherry and raspberry, and subtle earth and mineral notes. The wine opens with a burst of fresh crushed red fruit flavors followed by a wonderful juiciness that persists from start to finish. Incredibly silky tannins seem to glide across the palate, while a mouthwatering natural acidity provides a finish that is bright, elegant and absolutely refreshing.