Pinot Noir - Saralee's Vineyard - Russian River Valley - 2014


100% Pinot Noir
Saralee's Vineyard, Russian River Valley
Clones: 50% Jackson 9, 50% Wädenswil
Raised for 17 months in French Oak, 50% new

The greatness of Russian River Valley is endlessly on display through the Pinot Noir grown at Saralee's Vineyard. Sourced from the ranch's original planting, the wines born from these grapes continue to reinforce our belief that there is no substituting for the character of old vines. Each year during our regular vineyard visits, it never ceases to amaze how effortlessly these vines regulate themselves and produce world-class grapes with minimal intervention of the farmer's hand.

Deep roots and inherently low yields (tiny grape-clusters populated with BB-sized berries) give this wine its significant complexities—fruit and earth; power and finesse; exuberance and depth. This vintage is dominated by the classic Pinot Noir notes of red cherry, rhubarb, cola-spice and forest floor, accented by a brambly lift that fills the nose and livens the palate. An absolutely gorgeous wine.

Saralee’s Pinot Noir perfectly fits the concept with which this portion of our portfolio was conceived—singular wines distinguished by an unmistakable ability to display their pedigree, providing an equally indulgent experience for both the senses and the intellect.

As with no other varietal, the focus on the clonal makeup of Pinot Noir wines is rabid. This wine is fashioned from old-time California ‘heritage’ selections—the wildly disparate Jackson 9 and Wädenswil clones.

A study in duality, we love how these clones create a deeply soulful, complex, and harmonious Pinot Noir. The former bestows exuberant fruitiness and plush textures, while the later ornaments the wine's indulgent side with brambly fruit, exotic spiciness and regal structure.

In grape-growing, a 'heritage' clone refers to a vine whose lineage in the United States can be traced back prior to the arrival of the ENTAV Dijon clones in the mid-1980s. Due to being grown and propagated in the New World for many generations, these 'heritage' clones have had time to adapt to our climate and soils, resulting in what we believe to be more complex, complete wines.

These clones are some of the oldest in California. Jackson 9's lineage can be traced back to an experimental vineyard in Amador County, planted in the 1880's by a UC-Berkley professor. Wädenswil was imported to the United States in 1952 from its namesake village in Switzerland.

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