2018 Van Der Kamp Vineyard Pinot Noir
Van Der Kamp Vineyard
October 1, 2018
Aged 17 months in French oak (50% new barrels)
We’re loving getting to know our new addition to the DG portfolio. The earthier and more savory Sonoma Mountain grapes provide a nice counterpoint to our fruit-focused Russian River Valley bottlings. Our 2018 Van Der Kamp Pinot leads with dusky aromas of Bing cherry, plum, and dried sage, along with a perfume of dried purple flowers. With time in the glass, savory/sweet notes of rhubarb and beet join in. In the mouth, it’s robust and sultry, bringing to mind the earth from which it comes. Black cherry is enveloped in spicy sandalwood and black tea, riding on a backbone of tight, fine tannins. The wound-up quality of the wine in its youth lets you know this will be a good cellar option.
Welcome the 'new kid in town' sourced from one of the oldest Pinot Noir plantings in Sonoma County: Van der Kamp Vineyard. This stunning, high-elevation property has been farmed for over 100 years. Martin and Ulysses Van Der Kamp purchased this historic, Sonoma Mountain Vineyard in 1989 and have been working the land ever since. Ulysses and his father feel a spirtual and emotional connection to the land, and view themselves as caretakers as much as they do farmers. Ulysses' tender care and concern for the site is one of the main reasons that we decided to create a single-vineyard bottling of Van der Kamp Pinot Noir. They take a natural and non-invasive approach to farming. The vineyard itself has unique soil types, sun and wind exposure, and various slopes and pitches. A drive around the Tibetan prayer flag rimmed vineyard sets the tone for intiguing and thoughtful sips to come.
After hand sorting and destemming into a small open top fermenter, the must is cold-soaked for 7 days in order to gently extract color, spice and fruit characters, while mitigating harsher tannins. To further this aim, no SO2 was used at the crusher. We punch down 1 to 3 times daily, according to the stage of the fermentation; less often and shorter at later stages to avoid bitter tannin pickup. Because of the small lot size, the van der Kamp was punched down completely by hand. After initial aging in 45% new wood, we blended in the early spring to homogenize the wine and hone our barrel choices. Since this was our first year getting to know the vineyard, we went with one each of our favorite barrels, with a little extra Seguin Moreau Icone barrels for their earthy spice, complemented by Cadus, Rousseau, and Taransaud.
Food Pairing Notes
If you’re enjoying it young, go with something with a little fat, like chicken thighs, ribeye, or a cheeseburger, or cheeses with a salty bite like Valley Ford’s Estero Gold Reserve or an Asiago.
93, PinotFile; 92, Planet Grape