This cool climate Pinot Noir shows the influence of coastal fog and slow warming days by the acidity and minerality found on the palate. On the nose the earthy tones mixed with briar and black tea complement the cranberry and dark cherry aromas. On the palate the wine reveals dark berry, briar, cranberry and again hints of black tea, with a soft pleasing finish.
The grapes were hand harvested in the cool hours of the night to ensure 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.
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 that are equally distributed between Pommard 4 and Dijon 115 clones. Being nestled on the edge of the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations give this vineyard the advantage of the coastal fog that brings a diurnal shift in temperature, yet the vineyard has an elevation that 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 fruit and acid within the grape.