2014 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, Hellenthal Vineyard
Every vintage we struggle to describe the Hellenthal Pinot Noir. Sure, most years it is the richest fruit with which we work, but we find ourselves asking: what is its predominate fruit makeup, why is the nose so shy in its early development, do those background flavors come from the earthy or mineral side, why are some of the clusters large berried and others tiny berried. After conferring with the Hellenthals, we can honestly tell you it is still a mystery. What we do know is that the vineyard is planted to three different clones, two whose profile should be dark fruits and one that should be lighter red fruits. These inter-planted clones create a wonderful mélange of flavors that challenge traditional tasting notes. The 2014 Hellenthal is just such a bottling, displaying a vibrantly sweet yet elusive nose. On the palate dark berries lead with more subtle red fruits trailing, offering an intense concentration of flavors. There are notable fruit tannins that add structure and definition. The complex flavors offer a depth of layers and the staying power to persist on the palate seemingly forever. As we recently acknowledged to each other, the best Hellenthal vintages have another gear that most wines do not posses. Welcome to a Grand Cru bottling.
2014 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Salzgeber Vineyard
The Salzgeber vineyard located very near the Russian River is true to its appellation. The Salzgeber offers one the most varietally accurate expressions of Russian River Pinot Noir. It has aromas of red fruits and a touch of minerality. In the glass one discovers red cherry and red plum flavors, balanced with the typical Salzgeber drying fruit tannins that add a texture to the experience, finishing with notes of tea, cinnamon and vanilla.
2014 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Balletto Vineyard
As is typical of the Balletto vineyard, some years more than others, this vintage has an initial nose of light white pepper with dark fruits lingering behind. On the palate can be found a mouthwatering entry of blueberries, secondary flavors of black plum and a velvety texture. The hints of white pepper that are found in the nose morph into spiciness on the palate. This full bodied finish is so long it stains the palate.
2014 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Oehlman Vineyard
Due to its lower alcohol this vintage of Oehlman is showing its more traditional self, offering a nose of orange rind, tea leaves and honeysuckle. Luscious flavors of sweet Orange/Cranberry fruits with an almost candied nature exist within a framework of soft tannins with a subtle oak impression, lingering long on the palate. The Oehlman’s lighter fruit profile and feminine nature couple with wonderful mouthfeel and balance to create a harmonious experience.
2014 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
The Russian River Valley offers a multitude of aromas ranging from light to darker red fruits through to floral notes and baking spices. This wonderful blend showcases many of the fruits of its origin offering the beautiful Oehlman entry with its sharply focused flavors and interest, followed by the boldness of the Balletto fruit, accentuated by the fruit tannins of the Salzgeber. A truly rich and rewarding experience that shows off the best that the vintage has to offer.
2014 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
Aromas of dark berries and sandalwood. This weighty Pinot Noir is an exotic blend of red and dark stone fruits. A sip reveals a blend of Hellenthal and Balletto that fills the mouth and continues delivering highly concentrated and addicting fruit flavors, with moderate fruit tannins in the foreground leading to an extremely fulfilling long finish.