Ancien Pinot Noir Red Dog Vineyard 2021, Sonoma Mountain, California

Ancien Wines produces small lots of handmade wines. Red Dog Vineyard is described as “Exotic and Wild”. The landscape is dramatic. Perched on the steep east face of a high Sonoma Mountain ridgeline this vineyard offers sweeping vistas, challenging slopes, and exotic Pinot Noir. At just under 1000 feet of elevation, this ridge line sits unprotected by the Coastal Range, so at 17 miles inland from the Pacific, the vineyard experiences nearly unmitigated maritime influence and consistent, cooling breezes. The grapes were destemmed into one ton, open top fermenters and cold soaked for 4 days. Punch downs by hand 4 times per day at the beginning of fermentation. The wine was aged in French barrels, the majority new. The wine was racked once prior to bottling. Exotically elegant, the subtle nuances of this wine are followed by a lingering finish. The nose opens to an alluring perfume of raspberry, rose hips, and mandarin followed by rich aromas of tobacco, cedar, and forest floor. Spiced throughout with cinnamon, lavender, and sage, the fruit expands in the glass and fills the palate with kirsch, cherry preserve, dried cranberries, and hints of tea, clove, and tangerine. The mouth feel is soft and rich, with a considerable acidic lift. Toward the back, it reveals an earthen and tannic strength, and the finish is long and dominated by fine, dry tannins and dried spices and fruits.