2018 Angel Camp Vineyard Pinot Noir
The long 2018 growing season gave us an especially succulent Angel Camp this vintage. In the nose, dusky blackberry and plum aromas are complemented with savory beet and earthy notes. Christmas spices provide a lacy framework. The aromas carry through in the mouth, with sweet black cherry, purple plum, dried flowers, and sandalwood combining in a complex and harmonious balance. Round and graceful tannins give the wine an approachability now, while the breadth allows for nice aging potential.
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 vineyard offering 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, excellent farming, and good karma of the owner make it wonderful for nurturing classic Anderson Valley Pinot: deep, plummy fruit and a voluptuousness that comes with wellripened tannins. Brian planted the vineyard to an assortment (dare we say hodgepodge) of Dijon and heritage clones that combine to impart nuance and depth to the wine, and as the vineyard matures it’s getting even better. 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. 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 base notes, depth and solidity Taransaud barrels bring, along with the sweet/spicy opulence of Seguin Moreau.
Food Pairing Notes
Pick up the earthy and creamy notes in the wine with similar pairings, like a warm potato salad, bacon quiche, and spice-rubbed poultry or pork, and cheeses like an Italian Fontina or Havarti.