Yield: 1.5 tons per acre
Harvest: August 31st-September 1st
Numbers @ Harvest: 23.5 Brix, 3.35 pH, 8.0 grams acidity
Barrel Regimen: French Burgundy 50% new; 50% 1 year
Bottling: September 2010
Release Date: Fall 2011
As I reflect on thirty years of making Pinot Noir at Mount Eden, there is one wine that stands out as old and profound: the 1956 Martin Ray that I tasted in 1998.
Yes, this is a bit of trivia to most, yet it was a revelation to me. The energy, youth and mere deliciousness of that wine told me that Pinot Noir from these vineyards has the stamina to go forty years and be sublime. This is the hallmark of great wine worldwide.
2009 was again a drought year, the third in a row which gave the vines added stress. Harvest conditions were intense – late summer heat combined with the dry soils of the meager rain during winter. Small berries were the norm with consequent concentration in the fermentation tanks. All the fermentations were natural without any added yeasts and the new wines were aged in Burgundy barrels the entire time without movement.
Buoyant aromatics of red berries, rose petals and earth combine with the signature nuances of dill and anise. Lively on the palate with classic Pinot flavors of raspberry, blueberry and herb, there is notable acidity with overall elegance of character give promise for evolution.