2022 Mendocino County Pinot Noir
Vintage 2022 gave us another extreme drought year with a warm, dry winter producing early budbreak. The vines responded to the stress by putting out a tiny fruit set. Vintners who love small yields and the concentrated wines that follow, rejoiced. Growers who get paid on tonnage, groaned. And so it went. The growing conditions were perfect until the Labor Day Weekend "Heat Dome" which brought Phoenix-like temps to all of California. We started picking as early as we could to get the fruit out of the sun. The growers that had some water to combat the heat, faired best. Those who didn't ended up dropping a lot of sun burned fruit onto the ground. More triage was done in the winery to ensure that only healthy clusters were used. Once again, we were surprised by the pure flavors draining out of the fermenters a few weeks later. Seems these California vines are inoculated against extreme weather events--especially the more mature vineyards in the Potter Valley. The 2022 Mendo Pinot is a wide aperture view of the county-- with fruit from four disparate AVAs: Potter Valley, Yorkville Highlands, Anderson Valley, and Comptche. It shows the typicity of this diverse region which reads like a love letter to Mendocino County stained with brambly coastal berries, pine resin, and blue florals.
AROMA Bing cherry, rose petal, iron
FLAVOR black raspberry, dried tobacco, lilac
FOOD PAIRINGS chicken liver mousse, wild mushroom tartine, venison burger