With age the 2014 Hawk Hill Pinot Noir has gained complexity and depth not found in younger wines. The aromas remain fragrant with expressive notes of black cherry, briar and earthiness with hints of conifer, bay leaf and cigar box. The palate is lean, yet flavorful, with cranberry, dark cherry, coffee, baking spices and leather. The acid has stood the test of time and remains in balance with the subtle tannins and fruit characteristics.
The grapes were hand harvested in the cool hours of the night to ensure they 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 the remaining grape skins were gently pressed in a large basket press. The free run and pressed wine were 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.
"The nose blossomed to reveal a lovely perfume of cherry, red berry, spice and sandalwood. Modest in weight, but packed with cherry and berry goodness offered in an elegant framework of gentle tannins, and finishing with both purpose and spirited acidity. There is a subtle riff of smoky oak in the background. Score: 91"