A brief break from the extended drought in California, 2017 generously dumped over 80″ of rain on us, here in North Yuba.
The resulting wine, is a yet again a testament to the quality of our terroir, which keeps producing delicious, well-balanced wines year after year, equally so in favorable or challenging vintage conditions.
At the time of release (January 2022), the wine is showing considerable concentration and structure, dark color, medium body, excellent density, acidity, and texture, and deep layered fruit (mainly black, but also red and blue). The fruit intensity is especially noticeable by comparison to most earlier vintages of this wine. In terms of its balance and vintage character, this one shows kinship to the 2002, 2006, and 2010.
Aging notes: As a general rule, our Pinots tend to take their time in the cellar, slowly making their way towards their ultimate fully-expanded older phase. Sometimes (2007, 2008) they show well throughout the whole process; some vintages (2010, 2013) seem all smily and cheerful early on, then proceed to tighten up again after a few years, while others (2001, 03, 12) are just grumpy and unyielding for the first few (occasionally, many) years of their lives. They all eventually come to their own at some point at 8-12 years of age. To reach the stage that in our view would be called “real” full maturity, you would have to be a bit more patient, as they mostly take 15-20 year to get there. This 2017 seems to comfortably falls into the first category, but time will tell.
About the terroir: Our 2-1/2 acre “Home Vineyard” is north-east facing, at 1530-1600 ft altitude. The top soil is alluvial clay-loam on volcanic ash, fractured granite, and quartz sub layers. Untypically to this area, which tends to be steep and extremely rocky, this site is gently sloped and with few rocks to be found. It is also unusually cool in the context of the Sierra Foothills AVA, providing the required climatic conditions for successful Pinot production. The vineyard was planted (own-rooted, 3×6′ spacing) in 1979/80 and 1999, using as many clones – known and unknown – as we could lay our hands on, plus a handful of Pinot Gris and Chardonnay vines just for fun. Irrigation is used sparingly (as needed) in the newer blocks, while the older block is dry farmed.
2017 Vintage specifics: Production: 1140 bottles (95 cases). Alcohol: 13.3%.