2010 Pinot Noir, Quarter Moon Vineyard
Winemaker Notes Deeply colored with blackberry, black cherry, graphite, sweet vanilla and savory spice aromas. The fragrant entry is met by dark plum, Black Mission fig, black pepper, mocha and Freestone spice. Smooth tannins and balanced acidity round out the powerful yet elegant finish.
Winemaking Data The Quarter Moon Vineyard is located in closer proximity to the coastal influences than our other estate plantings and therefore exposed to increased wind while maintaining an even overnight temperature pattern during the growing season. Dark color, rustic tannins and intense dark fruit flavors tend to define the wines from this site. In 2010, the best fruit from the vineyard was chosen for this blend, predominantly clone 828 with select blocks of 115, 113, Pommard and Calera. Half of the fruit was hand-selected and whole cluster fermented in open-top oak tanks, while the other grapes were whole berry fermented in stainless steel without macerations for the first week, followed by regular punch downs until the desired texture was achieved.
The 2010 season started with modest rainfall and cool to moderate daytime temperatures. Budbreak was nearly complete in the Pinot Noir vineyards by the middle of March. The unusually extended frost season lasted from April into late May but caused little damage throughout the Pinot Noir vineyards, due to the elevation and hillside slope. Cold air naturally continued its journey to the valley below. Bloom was completed by early June. Veraison began the second week of August and the majority of all blocks were completed by August 25th. The quality of the grapes looked excellent leading up to harvest and a warming trend in the latter half of September completed the ripening needed throughout the vineyards. Picking began on September
28th and finished well before the late October heavy rains descended on the region.
The 2010 Pinot Noir growing season was slow and cool, producing exceptional fruit with uniform sugar and acid levels, making for ideal natural winemaking conditions. The finished wines are balanced and fresh with a distinctly Freestone spice element.
93 Points - Wine Enthusiast
A huge wine, bright and bold in raspberry and cherry flavors, this has a jammy directness that makes it drinkable now, but such is the acid and tannin structure that it should develop bottle complexity over the next 6-8 years. (Dec. 2012)
92 Points - Antonio Galloni, Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
The 2010 Pinot Noir Estate Quarter Moon Vineyard comes across as having a bit of the qualities of both the Pastorale and Freestone.The savory aromatics resemble those of the Pastorale, while the richness of the fruit has more similarities with Freestone. It all adds up to another beautifully expressive, layered Pinot. (Apr. 2013)
93 Points - Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright deep with ruby highlights. Musky aromas of dark fruits, spices and peppery herbs, with a violet nuance emerging with aeration. Drier and more penetrating than the basic Sonoma Coast bottling, showing terrific energy and grip to the dark fruit and pepper flavors. Finishes with dusty, firm tannins and excellent rising length. with 48 hour in the recorked bottle, this displayed an almost syrah-like perfume without any loss of freshness. (May 2012)
Blend and Grape Sources 100% estate-grown Pinot Noir from our Quarter Moon Vineyard.
Appellation Sonoma Coast
Harvest Dates September 30 - October 7, 2010
Aging/Cooperage 14 months in 60% new and 40% two-to three-year-old French oak barrels before bottling in February 2012.