2016 Emerald Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir
Green Valley of Russian River Valley
Dutton Ranch - Emerald Ridge Vineyard
September 13, 2016
Aged 16 months in 50% new French oak
Open top fermentation, cold soak, punch down
The 2016 vintage of our Emerald Ridge Pinot is especially focused and lively, beautifully showcasing its Green Valley roots. Bright cherry, cigar box, and rhubarb pie aromas lead the way, followed by darker scents of blueberry, blackberry, and raspberry blossom after time in the glass. Savory notes of thyme, cardamom and clove provide an extra layer of complexity. The mouth is full of sweet cherry/berry plush fruit, carried on firm tannins, giving the wine that lusciousness that keeps you coming back for more. Dark cherry pie with nutmeg spice echoes in the energetic finish.
We love making this wine more and more every year. It exemplifies our favorite Green Valley Pinot Noir characters with its core of berry fruit, solid structure and acidity, silky tannins, and an evolving nature in the glass. The vineyard is situated on an east-facing knoll the middle of Green Valley. In 2001, Steve planted its perfectly drained Goldridge sandy loam soil to several Pinot clonal blocks. Dan has chosen to use three to consider for this special offering: the mixed block of Pommard and 2A, which produces deep, dark and chewy wine (there’s always something special about mixed clone fermentations); the 667 block, which adds focus and precise berry fruit; and the 828 block, providing ebullient freshness and solid structure. This year the wine was constructed from sixteen barrels each of the 828 and 2A/Pommard blocks, to provide us a wine with the crystalline fruit focus and luscious pleasure that we adore from this neighborhood.
After hand sorting and destemming each block into small open top fermenters, the must is cold-soaked for 5 days in order to gently extract color, spice and fruit characters, while mitigating harsher tannins. Each clone is treated individually: the Pommard/2A block needs the gentlest handling given its highly tannic nature, while the 828 generally likes the longest time in the fermenter to enhance its floral aromatics. The lots are punched down between 1 and 3 times per day depending on the stage of fermentation and character of the lot. The blend was put together in May of 2017, then sent back to barrel until its bottling in April of 2018. Taransaud barrels provide weight and richness, Hermitage barrels bring spice (think blueberry cobbler), while Fouquet chimes in with a little extra sweetness.
Food Pairing Notes
The salty, tangy notes of an aged goat cheddar bring out the sweet fruit in the wine, as does a savory smoky glazed ham, or mushroom bruschetta.