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2017 Clarice Garys’ Vineyard Pinot Noir

I began crafting the 2017 Clarice Garys’ Vineyard Pinot Noir early in the growing season after a winter of normal rainfall (the first after several years of drought) gave way to an early spring.

It was then that I decided to work with vineyard owners Gary Franscioni and Mark Pisoni to adopt a slightly different growing plan for my Clarice sections than throughout the rest of the vineyard. I asked them to avoid thinning any fruit until veraison with hopes of slowing down the growth of shoots and leaves. At the exact moment that the vine transferred its energy to the fruit, I had clusters and wings dropped, so that all the vine’s energy went into the smaller number of clusters. As a result, I harvested a relatively low yield of 6.8075 tons from just over 2.1 acres of vineyard, on August 31, 2017. I picked and fermented my two disparate sections of Garys’ Vineyard Pinot Noir as one lot. I placed 54% whole clusters in the tank, destemming the rest of the fruit on top of this. Fermentation occurred spontaneously, without the addition of yeast, and the free-run wine was drained straight to barrel with the press wine kept separate. The wine has been aged in a combination of used French oak and new Francois Freres and Boutes barrels. Ultimately, and through a series of blind tastings, I will select the barrels that make up the final wine and that will be bottled without fining or filtration.

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