2015 The Drawing Board Estate Pinot Noir $36/bottle ~ Sold in increments of 3
The Vintage: The Pinot Noir yields in 2015 were significantly lower for us and throughout the region, likely in response to the 3rd straight year of severe drought. The winter of 2015 was mild and dry and bud break came a few weeks early, and so, in turn, did harvest. The crop was small, both in tonnage and berry size. This allowed us only a couple of tons for a 2nd cuvée from the Estate. Fortunately, we were able to select some from each block (3 clones 667, 2A & 115) in order to maintain the signature balance we have become accustomed to from our vineyard. Working with smaller berries creates a special opportunity for a dark and powerful Pinot Noir due to more intense flavors concentrated in the juice and an increase in skin contact. The benefits of this combination are exciting! While the wines are showing beautifully now, they will be even richer and more elegant as they mellow in the months and years to come. These wines really convey all the attributes so special and unique to this place; power and density balanced with brightness all framed with a strong sense of the nearby ocean.
65 cases ~ harvested early August 2015
Farming ~ Organic
The site: Organically farmed and planted on tierra loam soils, as well as diatomaceous outcroppings (lots of crushed sea shells and river rocks), this very west slope gets pounded by the onshore flow coming off the Pacific. The struggle these vines endure to send their roots deep into the signature Sta. Rita Hills dense black clay soil to steady themselves against the constant wind from this elevated plot give the fruit’s juice added complexity.
Winemaking: The berries were dark & powerful with small clusters, allowing us to go big on stems for this vintage, about 25%. The fruit fermented for about 18 days in open top vats with 1 or 2 punch downs most days. The fruit was then pressed to barrel for 14 months on lees before being racked, blended, and put back down to barrel for an additional 4 months of cellaring before being bottled and put to sleep for 12 months. Overall, the wine saw about 20% new French oak. Predominately from clones 115 and 667, with a smaller amount of 2A. There is no acidification, chaptalization, fining or filtering.
Tasting Notes: This vintage is exceptionally dense and powerful with deep texture and elegant balance. The wine has dark red, stone fruit with fresh acidity balanced by a savory medium, mid-palate weight from 25% whole stem inclusion. You will be delighted by the rich density, yet clean finish, making it a perfect companion to lean meats, fish and greens.