2009 Couloir Oppenlander Vineyard Pinot Noir
Varietal Pinot Noir
Appellation Mendocino County
Vineyard Designation Oppenlander
Harvest Date October 7, 2009
Fermentation Natural; 50% Whole Cluster
Alcohol % 13.5
Tasting Notes Heady aromas of bright red cherry, summer strawberry, green peppercorn and flowers are this Pinot noir’s calling card. The palate is weighty and medium-to-full bodied, with rich flavors of dark red cherry, dark spice, rose petal and high notes of minerals. The perceived sweetness of the red raspberry fruit is balanced with a distinct nerve of acid and finely textured tannins. The finish is lengthy and clean.
Vineyard Notes Located in the small town of Comptche in Mendocino County, California, the Oppenlander Vineyard boasts a heavy clay loam soil, which is unique to the region and specific to this site. The vineyard’s situation, just north of Anderson Valley and a mere eight miles from the Pacific coast, allows the grapes to experience the advantages of its maritime climate; warm hours of sunlight balanced by cooler daytime temperatures. The vineyard is planted to Pommard and Dijon clones. The Oppenlander Vineyard is owned and farmed by Bill and Norm Shandel, who are fifth generation owners. The property was homesteaded in the 1860s and the family continues to reside in the original log home on the estate.
Winemaker Notes Comprised of 50% Pommard and 50% Dijon 115 clones, the fruit was hand harvested into half-ton picking bins and brought directly to Turley Wine Cellars. Extra care and attention was given to the fruit: dry ice was feathered into the bins to prevent spoilage and oxidation, and then sat in cold storage for a 24-hour resting period before being processed. The following day, the fruit was hand-sorted. Importantly for its flavor development, 50% of the fruit was processed whole cluster into a stainless steel, open-top tank. The grapes then received a cold soak for seven days to extract maximum color from the Pinot noir skins, while the chill prohibited the start of fermentation. The fruit was then removed from refrigeration, warming and activating the native yeasts. One gentle punch down per day ensured minimal tannin extraction from the skins, allowing the stem tannins to provide the wine’s structure. The grapes were pressed and the wine was gravity fed into five French oak barrels, two of which were new. The barrels were initially stirred three times over a six-week period. The wine received neither racking, nor fining, nor filtering.
Production 118 cases