2008 Belle Glos Pinot Noir Clark & Telephone Vineyard
Last edited on 7/22/2010 by cliffkol
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2008 Clark & Telephone Vineyard
Santa Maria Valley
Santa Barbara County
Clark & Telephone Vineyard, acquiring its name from the corner at which it sits, Clark Avenue and Telephone Road, is situated in the southern portion of the Santa Maria Valley. This very coastal, Region I site is cooled by wind and fog that snakes in from the Pacific Ocean along a channel of the Santa Maria River.
Established in 1972, the Clark & Telephone Vineyard was planted “own root” to the Martini clone. This heirloom clone of Pinot Noir was one of the first to grace the California coastlands and has become something of a lost treasure. The site offers pronounced flavors that are well suited by the Martini clone, known for its characteristic brown spice (cinnamon, nutmeg and clove) and deep cranberry and raspberry flavors.
The 2008 growing season kicked off with yet another very dry winter and spring, which from a qualitative viewpoint is fantastic. In drought years, we usually experience above average concentration in the fruit and the resulting wines. As spring progressed through summer, we saw very moderate temperatures and a long and consistent ripening process. Like clockwork, the Santa Ana winds came through around August/September and allowed the fruit to mature into a beautiful balance of sugar, acid, flavor and phenols. Harvesting only the ripest fruit over the course of two weeks, we commenced picking on October 23rd . This long hang time in dry, but cool weather amounted to a fantastic season — where we could pick only what we wanted, when we wanted.
In the winery, the clusters were de-stemmed and the must underwent a cold soak. Fermentation began with the inoculation of yeast strains matched to each lot of grapes. Our maceration process during fermentation consisted of a combination of punch-down and pump-over techniques, each day the techniques would be reassessed to ensure that we were riding the line between over extraction and under extraction. The wine was aged in French oak (60% percent new) for nine months and was racked once upon completion of malolactic fermentation and again upon blending.
Tasting notes: Scarlet in color; bursting with aromas of cinnamon, caramel and hints of ginger-spiced tea. On the palate, the plush weight coats the mouth with more brown spice and sweet oak flavors, layered into the deep blueberry and strawberry base. The viscosity paired with the flavors and lively acidity lead into a long finish with supple tannins.
Joseph J. Wagner
Release date: February 2010