The 2012 vintage was all we could ask for; sunny and warm, but not too hot, and dry. A bumper crop produced some of the best wines possible out here on the west coast and we are delighted with this vintage at Cowan Cellars. The 2012 Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley was bottled in August of 2013 and since bottling it has become less about its structure and more about its cranberry and rhubarb fruit. Still, an earthy wine that reminds me a little of Gevrey-Chambertin; textured, bright and slightly rustic. This Pinot Noir will accompany meat and stronger flavored dishes well.
In the Vineyard: The Anderson Valley has become known as one of the two best AVA’s for Pinot Noir on the north coast, and Valley View Vineyard is in the center: the south end is too hot for Pinot and the Deep End in the north ripens it fully only about once every four years. This area, just north of Navarro Vineyards, is the ‘sweet spot’ for Pinot. The farmer here has over thirty years’ experience growing Pinot Noir in Mendocino County, and that experience is invaluable in making sure we get quality fruit. He tends the 7 to 8 year old Dijon clone vines, carefully farming them to about 3 tons per acre in soils that are mostly clay on gently rolling slopes.
In the Winery: This was a 15% whole-cluster fermentation which went to dry in 9 days. It was then pressed to a settling tank and went through malolactic fermentation in barrel.
In the glass: Very dark magenta in color, brilliant; mulberry, cranberry and red fruit aromas with dark earth tones and some spicy notes; overall more savory than sweet and quite concentrated with big, plush tannins and flavors that follow the nose, bright in the mouth with a backbone of acidity that makes your mouth water; medium long finish with a somewhat tannic grip. Shows somewhat closed until it gets about an hour’s worth of air in the decanter; then it comes alive and the flavors become juicy. Should be decanted if served today or aged in your cellar for 3-5 years. Will last and develop for 15 years with ease.
100% Pinot Noir
Brix at Harvest:
Aged 11 months in 5 + year old French oak barrels. Bottled unfined, unfiltered