2016 Bennett Valley Pinot Noir
As is tradition between spring bottling runs, travel and weddings (including ours!) I find myself behind in blog updates.
Many of you have probably received the spring release notice for our new round of Pinot Noir and the first iteration of our "HBIC" Rosé but I always love diving further into the details of our wine when given the chance.
So without further ado, let's check out what the new 2016 MTGA Bennett Valley Pinot Noir is all about!
First of all 2016 feels like forever ago. It has taken a bit of effort to recall how the entire season went down. The prior season was incredibly difficult with the amount of shatter and lack of yields that we saw out in the vineyard. With that still fresh in our minds we were hoping that 2016 would rebound in a big way. Luckily enough Mother Nature was on our side and we saw an awesome growing season through the spring and summer.
In 2016 we did decide to bring in an extra ton of Pinot Noir split between two different clones, Pommard and 777. These two were our "R&D" department for the year to see if they would be solid additions to the Pinot Noir blend. As it turns our they were, though we did change that again slightly the following year to get that "HBIC" Rosé up and running. On September 9th these two clonal selections were brought into the winery. Over the next 10 days we kept both clones separate during fermentation and pressed each off individually.
Four days after those first two lots were pressed off the next round of Pinot Noir came into the winery, the 667 clone that we LOVED in the 2015 vintage. Three days after that our 115 clone also came in. Both of these clones would also be crushed and fermented separately. Oddly enough the 667 fermentation took a bit longer than the 115 and was pressed off after a few extra days of being wrapped up with insulation and a couple of space heaters (go go gadget MacGyver!). The 115 finished up fermentation on October 6th followed by the 667 on October 7th and were pressed off separately the on the 8th.
Once all of these bad boys were in barrel we allowed them to settle into their own for three months. Over that time we would check in regularly to decide which lots would be best suited for a touch of new French oak for the remaining months that they would be in barrel. After settling on a barrel of the 115 and 667, we would let each lot age individually until May this year to be bottled. As usual, Pinot Noir tries to fight back a bit when it comes to being made. It is temperamental after all, but we were able to hash out our differences and come to an agreement before bottling time.
When we had the final blend in bottle there was one thing that I thought, and that was that this new release is a BEAST. We have found that the 2016 vintage offered immense structure and flavor, even with this cool climate vineyard site. With deeper dark and red fruit characteristics the acidity on this bad boy still shines through. Unfined and unfiltered this Pinot Noir retains all of the awesome characteristics provided by the four clones that made it into the final blend.
As always I hope that you enjoy this new release as much as we did making it!
Blend: 100% Pinot Noir
Clones: 33% 115, 33% 667, 17% Pommard and 17% 777 clones (whew)
Appellation: Bennett Valley, Sonoma County
Aging: 19 months in 33% new French Oak
Total Production: 125 cases