This wine has a ruby red color and delicate red fruit aromas. Dusty tannins and notes of cocoa spice fill the palate, adding depth and sophistication to the pure red berry flavors, with a supple texture drawing the wine to a pure, resonant finish.
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 pump-overs and punch-downs. This wine was barrel aged for 10 months in French oak barrels, 31% of which were new, 21% one-year-old. The wine was bottled on August 15th, 2018.
The 2017 vintage followed a cool, very wet winter. The soils were moist and rich, which required extra meticulous care with cover crop management and canopy management. Because this vineyard is dry-farmed it benefitted from having a wet year. Our part of Hellenthal Vineyard, the prized House Block, is planted to a field blend of Calera selection and Pommard Clone grapes. The fruit from this vineyard was harvested by hand on September 19th, 2017.
Hellenthal Vineyard is owned by Gard Hellenthal, one of the pioneers in the Fort Ross Seaview appellation. Located just miles from the Pacific Ocean, the vineyard reaches towering elevations of more than 1,000 feet above sea level. At this high elevation, the vines sit above the fog layer giving them the warmth to fully ripen and develop ideal flavors. At the same time, the cool maritime breezes balance the heat from the sun to keep the climate perfect for the finicky Pinot Noir grapes.