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2019 Fox Den Vineyard Pinot Noir

Green Valley of Russian River Valley

2019 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, 2019
6.20 gm/Lit.
Aged 17 months in French oak (55% new barrels)
Bottling Date
March 2021
Alcohol %
Wine Spectator
Wine Enthusiast
Connoisseurs' Guide
Wine & Spirits
Wine Profile
Tasting Notes
From first sniff, a lusciousness and sense of depth comes through. Strawberry compote aromas are edged in pretty floral notes of violets and lavender, with an interesting savory thyme note carrying the bottom tones. The mouth is decadently rich, yet pure and vibrant, with candied raspberry leading the intense juiciness. Fine-grained tannins carry the lengthy finish, ending in berry with a black tea earthiness.
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 2020. The core of the 2019 is a mix of the 667 and 777, along with and a touch of 115. 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. The wine was bottled in early March 2021 after 17 months in oak.
Food Pairing Notes
Play up the fruit and herb notes with similar flavors, and the plush texture with richer dishes, like duck breasts with sour cherry and thyme, pancetta wrapped turkey, or grilled skirt steak with peaches. For cheeses, a Manchego, gruyere, or taleggio would make nice matches.
Other Notes
93, Planet Grape; 9, Vinography; 92, International Wine Review; 94, Ken's Wine Guide; 92,; 91, Jeb Dunnuck