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2018 Fox Den Vineyard Pinot Noir

Green Valley of Russian River Valley

2018 Fox Den Vineyard Pinot Noir
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/ 750 ML bottle

Wine Specs
Pinot Noir
Green Valley of Russian River Valley
Vineyard Designation
Fox Den Vineyard
Harvest Date
September 25, 2018
6.70 gm/Lit.
Aged 17 months in French oak (55% new barrels)
Bottling Date
March 2020
Alcohol %
Wine Enthusiast
Connoisseurs' Guide
Wine Profile
Tasting Notes
The long 2018 season imparted a great density to our Fox Den Pinot Noir. While we usually think silk when drinking and describing the texture of this wine, this vintage ranges more to satin. In the nose, a mix of red fruits burst into the lead, with sweet raspberry and strawberry interlaced with baking spices. The mouth has a wonderful sweet/tart interplay, dancing from Bing cherry to dried cranberry to alpine strawberry, garnished by cinnamon and nutmeg. The extra bit of weight gives it an especially lengthy finish.
Vineyard Notes
Fox Den Vineyard is perched on top of Stoetz Ridge, at the western border of Green Valley and just above the town of Occidental. The Goldridge sandy loam soil here is extremely sandy since this ridge is old pushed-up sea bottom, which makes for low vigor vines, slow ripening, and beautifully floral and fruit driven wine. Here on the hill, it’s frequently a touch warmer than the bottom of the valley, but it’s still always among the last harvested and highest in natural acidity of our pinots. Dan and Steve planted the spot together in 2002, and Dan has been crafting the wine since 2004. The eight acres is split into three clones: 667 for vivid fruit, 777 for chewy tannins and 115 for brightness and floral aromatics. For the vineyard designated wine, the exact blend between them will vary each year, but the result is always a wine with sweet, lush cherry/strawberry fruit and great natural acidity. This beautiful site is the home of Ed and Sue Smith, old friends who now lovingly oversee their 8 acres of beautifully farmed fruit.
Winemaker Notes
At Dutton-Goldfield, our pinot is hand sorted and destemmed into small open top fermenters and the must is then cold-soaked for 5 days to gently extract color, spice and fruit characters, while mitigating harsher tannins. The three blocks at Fox Den were fermented and barreled separately to optimize what we most love about each, then blended to our tastes in March of 2019. The core of the 2018 is the juicy, focused 667 clone, with the balance made up of a blend of all 3 clones. One of the pleasures of the spring blending is getting to hone barrel choices. Fox Den is all about the floral notes of Remond Trancais, but Taransaud holds down the bass tones, and Rousseau adds structure.
Food Pairing Notes
Riff off the satiny theme with your food pairings, with dishes like duck confit, sweetbreads, pulled pork, and seared tuna. For cheese pairings, match the sweet/tart nature of the wine with a creamy goat cheese, Kaseri, or Bellwether Farm’s San Andreas.
Other Notes
95 - Wine Review Online; 92 - Planet Grape