Library 2012 Angel Camp Vineyard Pinot Noir
Angel Camp Vineyard
Aged 11 months in French oak (50% new barrels)
Open top fermentation, cold soak, punch down
(Tasting notes at time of first release.) 2012 was as friendly a growing season as it gets: the dry spring prompted early budbreak, May flowering weather was excellent, and a warm summer and fall with no heat spikes gave us fruit with beautiful ripeness—brown seeds, thick, dark skins, and great flavor. The result is a vintage of wonderful abundance and balance. This richness is apparent in the nose, which lures you in with aromas of black raspberry, black cherry, sweet plum, tobacco and sandalwood. The mouth is creamy and decadent, with the black cherry and plum fruit enveloped by toffee and Asian spice overtones. A chewy caress of tannins carries and accentuates the lengthy sweet boysenberry pie finish. The juxtaposition of dark and bright makes it a fascinating wine, and a great match for creamy goat cheese or dishes featuring dark fowl meat.
A great winemaking pleasure is tasting the character of the land from places of great beauty and emotional attachment. Such is certainly the case with our single special Pinot from Anderson Valley. Angel Camp Vineyard is owned by Dan’s good friend Brian Zalaznick, who planted this 10-acre beauty in memory of his brother and family. It’s located west of Philo on a scenic knoll above the Navarro River and overlooking the valley. This cool neighborhood, combined with the gravelly slope of the site and good karma of the owner, make it wonderful for nurturing classic Anderson Valley Pinot: deep, plumy fruit, fresh acidity, and a voluptuousness that comes with well-ripened tannins. Brian planted the vineyard to an assortment (dare we say hodgepodge) of our favorite Dijon and heritage clones that combine to impart nuance and depth to the wine. For our wine, we harvested Pommard for its richness, 828 for its bright fruit, and 667 for its concentration and focus. It’s a pleasure to work with fruit from a truly beautiful site, grown by a great character.
After hand sorting and destemming into small open top fermenters, the must is cold-soaked for 5 days in order to gently extract color, spice and fruit characters, while mitigat¬ing harsher tannins. For this neighborhood, it’s all about conserving the delicate fruit that holds the wine together. We love co-fermenting the clones we receive from Angel Camp for the integration it imparts to the resulting wine. The must is punched down between 1 and 3 times per day depending on the stage of fermentation. This lot spent 17 days in the fermenter before draining and pressing, and the press wine was barreled separately. At blending in March of 2012, about half of the press was put in the blend to enhance aromatics. One of the pleasures of this spring “rack and back” is choosing the barrel array for the final aging of the wine. In the case of Angel Camp, we loved the broad spice imparted to the wine by Seguin Moreau Icone barrels, and the classic structure of Remond Allier. The wine was bottled in August of 2013.
Food Pairing Notes
The juxtaposition of dark and bright makes it a fascinating wine, and a great match for creamy goat cheese or dishes featuring dark fowl meat.