2015 Stewart Ranch Pinot Noir
The Stewart Vineyard in Carneros has a cool breezy climate that brings out the depth and finesse of the Pinot Noir grape. Planted with the 115 clone on 101-14, and a 5 x 8 spacing, Stewart is actually on a peninsula in the Estuary, and keeps its leaves in a stoic manner most years, so that the fruit can stay shaded in the middle of the day. 2015 was a very early year with light cropping. The Pinot Noir was picked on August 21, at 24.6 Brix, destemmed not crushed, fermented in an open top tank and fermented after a 4 day cold soak, with Asmanhausan yeast. We punched down twice a day until 6 Brix, then once a day until dryness. The season had been nicely moderate, but with bud break in March, the season started out early. The fruit was in good condition, but the estuary always has many birds, and the war of attrition means you can’t leave the grapes out forever. This wine had no fining and only a light filtration.
The aroma rushes out with jammy cherry and rhubarb pie. The palate is broad and young, showing ripeness and intensity in its cherry fruit core. A rich almost earthy mineral element saves it from being too cute, and it has sweet spicy oak on the finish.