Ancien Pinot Noir 2021, Thornton Vineyard, Sonoma Coast, California

The Thornton Vineyard is situated on the ridge above the Petaluma Gap. At 1400 ft elevation, it receives a very direct ocean influence even if somewhat mediated by its slightly protected eastern exposure. The stunning view from the vineyard faces east across the southern Sonoma Valley to the Mayacamas. The grapes were destemmed into 1-ton, open top fermenters and cold soaked for 4 days. Punched down by hand 4 times per day tapering down as the fermentation progressed. A warm fermentation, peaking about 94 degrees, with additional maceration and skin contact ensured a generous extraction from these stubborn grapes. The wine was aged in French barrels, 40% new. The wine was racked once prior to bottling. Tasting notes: Densely colored Pinot Noir bursting of red berry fruit, wild cherry, and blueberry. Very primal at first, with unctuous texture and loaded with fruit. Long flavors with bright mouthwatering acidity delineate the palate. As the wine opens, glimpses of its underlying structure appear, but are largely overwhelmed by its lush forward fruit. With time, the wine gradually opens up to greater complexity with spice notes and subtle hibiscus notes.