2011 Pinot Noir, Pastorale Vineyard
Winemaker Notes Opening aromas of blackberry, blueberry, dried herbs and sweet tangerine peel give this Pinot Noir a distinctive Freestone characteristic. Lush and round with silky texture and considerable weight, an impressive effort boasting dark fruit, plum and white pepper with hints of mushroom and dark chocolate throughout to the long finish.
Winemaking Data This special bottling from a tightly spaced sloping section of the Pastorale Vineyard showcases the distinct characteristics of the Freestone growing region. The Pinot Noir blocks are a mix of Calera and clone 777. Half of the fruit was hand-selected and whole cluster fermented in open-top oak tanks with snipped stems and the remaining half was whole berry fermented in stainless steel tanks. Daily punch downs were performed until the desired taste and texture was achieved in the wines.
The 2011 growing season was marked by cool weather and rain that lasted until June. Bud break and bloom were later than usual, but by the summer months, moderate temperatures and afternoon sunshine kicked the growing season into gear. A warming trend in September helped the grapes ripen to maturity.
The 2011 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 nicely balanced and concentrated, with a lingering Freestone spice element.
93 Points - Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good dark, bright red. Sexy nose combines crushed cherry, cranberry, brown spices and earthy undertones, plus some smoky oak. Sweeter, deeper and lusher than the regular Sonoma Coast bottling, with the bracing cherry and raspberry fruit flavors accented by pepper, cola and dusty herbs. At once sappy and generous, boasting excellent mid-palate lift. Finishes dry and broad, with terrific peppery persistence. (May/June 2013)
93 Points - Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
The 2011 Pinot Noir Pastorale was made from Dijon clones and was aged in 60% new French oak. It offers lots of floral, sweet and sour cherry, pomegranate, plum and a hint of bouquet garni. A meaty, rich and elegant Pinot, it can be drunk over the next 4-5 years. (Dec. 2013)
93 Points - Antonio Galloni, Vinous
Just as beautiful in bottle as it was from barrel, the 2011 Pinot Noir Estate Pastorale has developed beautifully over the last year. Silky on the palate yet wonderfully exotic in its flavors, the 2011 impresses for its balance and class. Orange peel, star anise and spices add nuance to the bright, cranberry-inflected fruit. This gracious, utterly impeccable Pinot is simply striking today. (Feb. 2014)
93 Points - Wine Enthusiast
The cool 2011 vintage lead mouthwatering acidity to the wine, brightening flavors of red apples, pomegranates and persimmons. Right now, it's juvenile and tight, with primary fruits that are unintegrated with the oak. (Mar. 2014)
Tasting Notes Download Tasting Notes (pdf)
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Blend and Grape Sources 100% estate-grown Pinot Noir from our Pastorale Vineyard.
Appellation Sonoma Coast
Harvest Dates September 20-21, 2011
Aging/Cooperage 13 months in 60% new and 40% two-to three-year-old French oak barrels before bottling in February 2013.