2009 Stanly Ranch Pinot Noir Carneros - magnum
These big bottles are just fun to open anytime you have a few friends gathered together. It will go fast, I assure you. Ripe raspberries, hints of violet, plum pie and cassis on the nose and in the palate as well. Those characteristic earthy, vineyard floor, wild mushroom notes are ever present and the tannins are big and full bodied, but also delicate and refined.
Once again we were blessed with a pretty spectacular growing season. A relatively wet Spring gave way to a mild, temperate growing spell and the little clusters started to form beautifully. The crop load was larger than in 2008, but the quality remained high, and by harvest time the grapes were balanced and delicious.
This was only the second year I picked various different clones to make the Stanly Ranch bottling. After the 2007 harvest when they pulled my old vines out of the ground, I had to walk the ranch and find a mix of clones to make this special wine. I learned about the different characteristics of each clone during the crush of 2008, so this year I had a better idea of how many tons of each block to pick. It’s somewhat like a chef in the kitchen- a little of this spice, some more of another, finish with a touch of salt. Voila!
It was the middle of the night as usual and we were under the lights of the trucks picking 114, 777, and a little Pommard clone. When the grapes arrived at the winery I kept each clone separate. After destemming they were dumped into open topped bins and left to cold soak. About 5 days later, they were taken outside to start warming the yeasts so the fermentation kicked off naturally as planned. My favorite job came next- a week of manual punch downs and foot stomping to extract just the right amount of color and tannin. Once the wine went dry, the free run was pumped into separate barrels and all the must went into the press together. The malo-lactic fermentation occurred without inoculation and the wine aged about 11 months before bottling.