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2016 Holdredge Russian River Pinot Noir Rolling Thunder
This vineyard sits atop the third ridge in from the Pacific just outside of Occidental. The soils are the “Goldridge” series, always a favorite among Pinot producers. This sits toward the midway of the “true” Sonoma Coast appellation- and because of the altitude (Some 850 feet), it generally sits above the heaviest fog, but still gains some cooling benefit of the fog, as well as cool air which comes up through Coleman Valley. So, it is a site that offers full sun but moderate temperatures- which allows us to hang the fruit longer. This is critical for us, as this vineyard presents higher levels of tannins, which, when fully ripe, contribute to the seamless and smooth structure of a bigger wine. So, the extended hang time doesn't simpy facilitate flavor development, it allows us to ripen tannins, which make for a more complete wine.
We take both Pommard clone and clone AS2 from here, generally picked 7-10 days apart (AS2 first). This backbone of this wine is primarily the Pommard, with just enough 828 added to take us where we think it shows best. In 2016, we used 14% As2 in the final blend. The vineyard is meticulously farmed by our friend Jim Riddle, and to say he is “obsessive” about quality is an understatement. We were the first winery to make a wine from this vineyard (in 2009), and love it for how it consistently conveys the impact of mountain grown fruit, and makes a delicious, and occassionally dramatic, wine.
True to its name and place, this is a very ripe, almost dense wine that is all about power. A dramatic nose carries dark fruit aromatics that carry the wine, and the richness is palate-coating from front to back. But for me, the refined silkiness the ripe tannins provide is what sets it apart- it is at once masculine yet smooth; grace matched with power. I absolutely loved this wine in tank before we bottled it, and thought it was destined to be a standout for us. While it is a wine that pairs well with everything from salmon to the bigger cuts of meat (steaks, chops etc.), it is also quite delicous to enoy on its own (with a frined of course) 150 cases made. $50.00 bottle
"... deep, layered, concentrated, and classic Russian River". 93 points -- Jeb Dunnuck; 90 points -- Antonio Galloni