From its rich, magenta color to its alluring aromas of Bing cherry, spicy brambleberry, cola, bergamot and toasty oak, this beautifully distinctive wine captures the essence of Wildcat Mountain Vineyard. On the palate, lush, velvety tannins make the juicy berry flavors sing, while providing a lovely supporting structure that will ensure this wine ages well for years to come.
The fruit was gently destemmed into small open-top fermenters, using state-of-the-art equipment and procedures to avoid any pumping of must. Inoculation with select yeast strains followed a three-day cold soak, and the caps were managed with a combination of pumpovers and punchdowns. Blending fruit from different areas of the vineyard and different clones gives this wine depth and complexity. The Pinot Noir from Arrow Block provides the lush tannin and adds lively fruit aromatics. The clone 115 introduces structure and acidity. Saddle Block is an area of the vineyard that is very exposed to the wind, which contributes dense color and a long finish. After 10 months of ageing in French oak barrels, we bottled on August 9, 2016.
While the 2015 vintage had some of the lowest yields in recent memory, the small crop we harvested was pristine, ripe and luscious, with the low yields contributing to remarkable concentration and depth. The grapes for our Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Pinot Noir came from a few different blocks of Wildcat Mountain. The first is a prized block planted in 1998 to clone 115 Pinot Noir. The rest of the fruit came from our Arrow and Saddle blocks, both of which were planted to clone 667 in 2000. All of these grapes were hand harvested in the cool early mornings of September 3 and 5, 2015.
The grapes for this Pinot Noir came exclusively from our Wildcat Mountain Vineyard, owned by Steve MacRostie and his partners Nancy and Tony Lilly. There, the vines dig into the sparse volcanic soil and stand firm against the strong winds that race in off of the Pacific Ocean most afternoons. This fog-shrouded mountaintop vineyard is a classic Sonoma Coast site—cool and challenging—and produces wines of great distinction.