2019 Van Der Kamp Vineyard Pinot Noir
Van Der Kamp Vineyard
October 7, 2019
Aged 17 months in French oak (50% new barrels)
Our van der Kamp grapes were among the last picked in 2019, giving them a long hang time to ripen the Sonoma Mountain fruit. The result is a beautifully balanced wine that seamlessly marries the fruit and earth notes the wine has become known for. A savory herb mix of thyme, sage, tarragon, and bay leaf surround the red cherry fruit in the nose, with tea leaves providing additional support. The mouth is lithe and broad at the same time, with pomegranate, cherry, and cranberry carried on firm but fine tannins. Earthtoned spices and a touch of orange peel continues on the silky texture into the extended finish.
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 coldsoaked 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. We bottled the wine in April 2021.
Food Pairing Notes
Rich meats and a dishes with little fat would make a great match, like braised lamb, grilled sausages, and gratins of any kind. Earthy cheeses such as a truffle goat, Havarti and Manchego would also make great complements to the wine.
94, Owen Bargreen; 92, Planet Grape; 93, International Wine Review; 9-9.5, Vinography; 93, Ken's Wine Guide; 91, Burghound.com; 90, Jeb Dunnuck