2016 Stewart Ranch Pinot Noir
2016 was a very early year with light cropping. Bud break was March 11, and a foggy or humid season made farming challenging. Then hot weather in early July and again in late July limited crop size and pushed things ahead. 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. The Pinot Noir was harvested on August 24, at 24 Brix. After a 4 day cold soak, it was inoculated with RB12 yeast. We pumped over twice a day until 6 Brix, then once a day until pressing at dryness and going to barrel the next day. Spicy cherry and dark rose notes again developed in the wine, and these evolved beautifully in the 11 months it spent in barrel. This wine had no fining and only a light filtration. Lovely aromas of pie cherry, almond and anise are balanced by a hint of clove, plum and Bing cherry fruit on the palate. Tannins and color were abundant in 2016, giving us wines of deep color, firm, yet fine-grained tannins and a rich, juicy mid-palate.