2019 Redwood Ridge Pinot Noir
September 20 & 26 and October 5, 2019
Aged 16 months in French oak (55% new barrels)
Our coastal sites really benefitted from the long and even 2019 growing season, which packed the already intense grapes with even more flavor. The depth of the wine is apparent from the first sniff, which leaps out of the glass with wild berries cascading along in rich waves. Pretty floral notes of geranium and lavender provide a lacy accent, while cinnamon and sandalwood chime in with supporting bottom notes. All the nose promised is carried through in the mouth, with rich and robust blackberry, raspberry, and black plum spreading out across your palate. This mouthful of fruit goodness rides on firm, round tannins to a black tea, orange peel, and spice box finish.
We started sourcing fruit from the Annapolis area of the Sonoma Coast in 2013, and have enjoyed the fruits of our labor ever since. Putnam Vineyards is a family owned and operated vineyard nestled in the extreme Sonoma Coast, about six miles from the ocean. With a cool climate and high annual rainfall, the growing season is long and the grape maturation slow. The 32-acre vineyard is just above the fog line and sits among giant redwoods native to the area. The gravely soil and deficit irrigation creates stressed, naturally low yielding vines, which produce thick skinned fruit, small berries, and concentrated flavors. The wines from the area have beautifully developed tannins and a soft, plush texture.
The fruit was hand sorted and gently layered into two open top fermenters. The must was cold-soaked for 5 days in order to gently extract color, spice and fruit characters, while mitigating harsher tannins. The fruit is punched down between 1 and 3 times per day depending on the stage of fermentation, and character of the lot. Two of our favorite barrels chosen accentuate the innate depth and richness of the fruit. The Seguin Moreau Icone barrel adds a smoky mushroom while the Taransaud barrel fills out the middle with its classic richness. The wine is racked in March to blend barrel flavors and clarify then put back to barrel to soften the rich tannins before bottling in April of 2021.
Food Pairing Notes
Match the bold fruit with dishes that don’t shy away from flavor, like chicken cacciatore, potato gratin, porchetta, and beef wellington. The same goes for cheeses: try it with an aged Gruyère or Gouda, or Bellwether’s Pepato.
94, Owen Bargreen; 93, Planet Grape; 94, International Wine Review; 91, Burghound.com; 90, Jeb Dunnuck