2016 Thomas Road Pinot Noir
93pts - Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate
This wine definitely holds its own and lets its distinctive voice be heard…and tasted. Carol Kozlowski Every, Tracy’s mother, noted the particular aromas of the Royal Anne cherries from old-time Sebastopol farming. A definite fruit cornucopia of flavors including those cherries (thanks to the Dijon 115 clone,) blackberry preserves, brambleberry, and black plums. With a round mouthfeel, one detects freshly cut herbs, damp earth, and even smoked Prosciutto. This wine can be enjoyed now or cellared for eight to ten years.
Getting up in the middle of the night to hand-harvest the grapes at our Thomas Road Vineyard is well worth the trouble given the “big” nature of the fruit there. Grapes are sorted by hand as soon as they arrive at the winery and then gently destemmed. After destemming, the crushed fruit is then placed into small open-top fermenters. The must is cold-soaked for five days to gently focus the natural spice and fruit elements while minimizing any harsh tannins. We opt for daily punch-downs as fermentation progresses to disperse heat and give proper skin and juice contact. The juice is then pressed and racked into French oak barrels
(45% new) so that delicate oak notes are highlighted. Our winemaker then hand selects the few barrels he deems most provocative to blend together to craft this Vineyard Designated wine.
We selected the Thomas Road Vineyard to showcase the breadth of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Planted to clone Dijon 115 in 1997, the vine roots spread deep in this diverse area with rocky, red clay, and sandy loam soil. The vineyard tends to produce wine displaying dark berries with a bold, firm mouthfeel. Located in the northeastern section of the sub-appellation of Green Valley, the vineyard is certified Sonoma County Sustainably-Farmed and Fish-Friendly. It is one of the more than 80 vineyards that Dutton Ranch farms in the Russian River Valley appellation.