2015 Holdredge Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Petits Cadeaux
Friendship makes for the best wines- in addition to loving the voice of a place, it is very important that our growers are people we like- it’s how the whole thing comes together. In part, what makes this vineyard special is that it is a collaboration between two very talented guys who are very good friends of ours- Mike Sullivan (winemaker and part owner of Benovia Winery which owns the vineyard), and Chris Bowland, one of the great Pinot growers in Sonoma County. These guys farm with a meticulousness that pushes the limits. I take different clones from a few blocks there, but one block has a clone that produces incredibly tiny clusters; barely the size of the palm of your hand. These tiny clusters have tiny berries- so there is a lot of skin relative to juice- and skin is where all the good stuff like flavor and color comes from.
I always think of these clusters as “little gifts” (petites cadeaux) from nature, because the berries are so tiny; more skin than juice, and skin is where the flavor and color are. The 2015 had ridiculously tiny berries, and just had amazing flavor. I remember standing around the day we picked just eating one berry after another out of the bins and laughing about how good the fruit was. I just wish there was more…
The 2015 is nothing short of a powerful statement in Pinot. Dark fruit just packs the glass, with a richness that speaks of unctuousness. Blackberries are the essence of it (it had a real blackberry pie character as it fermented) and other darker fruits. This is perfect for just drinking a big glass (or three), or pairing with any bold (not spicy) flavored foods- steaks, chops, cheeses, and more. I’m actually having a glass as I write this, and it’s delicious. A short decant will really let it shine if you drink it now, and it’s got a solid 8 or more years of pleasure in it. Best of all- if you take it to a party, you can simply say “I brought a little gift”!