2011 Couloir Chileno Valley Vineyard Pinot Noir
The dark ruby-colored core of the Chileno Valley Pinot Noir bleeds into a translucent raspberry edge. On the nose, this delicate wine offers aromas of spice, earth, rolling pasture, and soft red fruits. Tea, graphite, and a hint of oak layer seamlessly into spicy red berry compote flavors. Baking spices, rose petals, watermelon, and pink peppercorn add exotic and herbal notes. Elegant tannin supports the brilliant, ripe red fruits in the mid-palate. This light-to-medium-bodied Pinot Noir strikes a harmonious textural balance, finding synergies between its measured acidity, breadth, and structure.
Situated on the southern border of the Petaluma Gap in Marin County, and bordering Sonoma County to the north, the climate of the Chileno Valley Vineyard is influenced by two bodies of water: the Pacific Ocean along Marin’s west coast, and the San Pablo Bay along its southern flank. While bud break often happens earlier in this area compared with other California grape growing regions, the constant gentle salt-air winds provide for Marin’s cool, maritime climate which sweeps over verdant rolling hillsides to provide one of the longest growing seasons in the state. The soils of Chileno Valley Vineyard include patches of the Steinbeck soil series and eroded sandstone offering a complex fruit profile and minerality.
The Pinot Noir was hand harvested into half-ton picking bins and brought directly to the winery. Dry ice was feathered into the bins to prevent spoilage and oxidation. The bins were placed in cold storage for a 24-hour resting period before processing. All of the fruit was then hand-sorted. The bright flavor and complex taste profile are in part offered by 50% whole cluster fermentation. The grapes received a cold soak for seven days to extract maximum color from the 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 stems to provide the wine’s structure. The grapes were then pressed and the wine was gravity fed into four French oak barrels; two new, and two neutral. The wine received no racking, fining, nor filtering.
Variety 100% Pinot Noir
Vineyard Chileno Valley Vineyard, Marin County
Production 96 cases
Optimal Maturity 2014-2020
Harvested Oct 1
Barrel Aging 11 Months, 50% new French Oak
Winemaker Jon Grant