The 2013 Hawk Hill Pinot Noir was part of the inaugural harvest for Gregory James Wines and one of the first wines to be released. There is a great deal of life in this Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast, which is evident in the bright rose petal and raspberry notes on the nose. Flavors of cherry, cranberry and pomegranate are complimented by hints of baking spice and earthy undertones. This is the perfect wine for an evening on the porch or a salmon dinner.
The grapes were hand harvested in the cool hours of the night to insure the grapes came into the winery cool and intact. After arriving at the winery the grapes were fully de-stemmed, placed in a 4 ton open top stainless steel fermentation tank and cold soaked for 8 days at 55 degrees F. Using native yeasts, the fruit was fermented for 9 days with very gentle cap management to conserve the delicate aromas and flavors of this cool climate Pinot Noir. After extended maceration the free run wine was drained and while the remaining grape skins were gently pressed in a large basket press. The free run and pressed wine was kept separate during barrel aging, reevaluated and blended before bottling in June of 2014.
The Hawk Hill Vineyard is situated above the small town of Freestone, west of Sebastopol, within the Sonoma Coast appellation. There are 6 acres of Pinot Noir vines, equally distributed between Pommard 4 and Dijon 115 clones. Being nestled on the edge of the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations gives this vineyard the advantage of the coastal fog that brings the diurnal shift in temperature, yet the elevation allows it to stay above the fog line much of the time. The coastal influence and marine layer allow for an extended ripening period which develops the fruit character while maintaining the balance of acid within the grape.