2017 Poseidon Vineyard "The Bench" Pinot Noir
Beautiful ruby in color, this wine opens with captivating aromas of Bing cherry, ripe raspberries and hints of cola. This fruit-focused Pinot Noir is silky smooth on entry, with the flavors of delicate red fruits chiming in. A classic style of the varietal, it is light in body, with a high acidity that cleanses the palate. With time in the glass, this charming young wine reveals deep fruit flavors accented by lightly toasted oak on the finish.
The maritime environment of the Carneros grape-growing region delivers cool, foggy mornings followed by warm days that slowly nurture ripening. This seaside influence is particularly acute at our Poseidon Vineyard; one can see the masts of boats bobbing in the water just a few steps to the south. The prominent feature of our vineyard is the gravelly, geological “Bench"—the elevated, rocky, former riverbank of Carneros Creek—that runs serpentine through the center of the site. From this unique geological feature spring some of our most distinct, small-production wines.
Northern California continued to recover from the drought, and the year began with abundant rainfall and mild spring weather. The rejuvenated vines produced a beautiful crop. Summer temperatures were normal and harvest began slightly early and slowly. On October 8th, terrible wildfires erupted in Napa and Sonoma Counties. We were fortunate that we had already completed the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir harvest from Poseidon Vineyard. Obsidian Ridge Vineyard was well north of the fire and smoke and was totally unaffected. It was a year in which the attentive winemaker, one familiar with his vineyards and with a committed and reliable crew, was rewarded.
The three sections of this two acre hill were picked separately over harvest, as were the different clones. Each pick was then fermented separately and we were super excited to see how the different clones would taste. After several months in barrel, it was evident that clone 777 was special. The wine made from this clone was highly aromatic, bright, lively and elegant. It seemed natural to keep a few barrels of this clone for our special “Bench” blend of Pinot Noir. This wine was racked only once before bottling to maintain the pure fruit expression.
Alex Beloz, Winemaker