Each year we make between 100-130 barrels of wine. With each Pinot Noir harvest, we hand sort the most premium grape clusters into our “reserve line.” Pinot Noir translates into “Black Pine Cone.” When we sort the grapes, we look for the tightest clusters with the smallest berries. These dark, purple pine cones have grapes the size of huckleberries. The skin-to seed-to juice ratio is thus thrown out of balance from your typical Pinot Noir cluster. The resulting wine is a much fuller bodied, intense Pinot. The tannin structure is far more apparent given the additional skin and seed to juice contact. We essentially create a Cabernet styled Pinot Noir for those of you in search of a stand alone wine with complex and layered flavors that hold up with any occasion.
Once the determination is made as to which grapes will go into our reserve program, the wine is slowly fermented over 21 days to gain maximum extraction. The wine is then racked into 100% new French oak barrels for secondary fermentation and aging lasting 12-16 months. Once complete, we taste each barrel and make the ultimate selection of the top 5 barrels for our Vintage Select of that year. The barrel selections focus on overall intensity, deeply concentrated color, opulent fruit and firmly integrated tannins. The finish is balanced with a light acidity, barrel toast, and velvety mouthfeel. Our typical Vintage Select blend will consist of 60% Clone 667, 25% Pommard and 15% Dijon 115. This is an amazingly pure wine, loaded with fruit and combining the Pinot elegance with grace and persistence that will pay dividends for years to come.