There is a bit of Pinot Noir history in the Sierra Foothills at cool, high elevation sites. Boissevain Vineyard now called Vinehill in Georgetown has grown some Pinot Noir for over 25 years. I believe a wine from that site once one a Gold Medal at the California State Fair. The Duarte-Georgetown planting is in Boomer series, gravelly loam at 2,500 feet, and was established in 2007, when existing vines on a North-facing slope were grafted to five different Pinot Noir clones: #5 from Pommard, #91 from Pommard, #37 from Mount Eden, #38 from Dijon (#459) via OSU, and #18 Gamay Beaujolais selection (Viticulture l160 V15). In 2013 we harvested all the varieties together.
The grapes were hand-picked on September 27th about two weeks earlier than in 2012. 50% of the grapes were crushed and 50% were whole cluster. We used ambient yeast that started fermenting after a 5 day cold soak and the cap was managed by hand. The wine was pressed after two weeks in the vats. It went directly into French oak cooperage and 25% was new. It aged on lees for 10 months and was first racked into the bottling tank. The wine was bottled on August 26, 2014.
Burgundian in color; not over-extracted; strawberry-cinnamon scents with herbs and spices, it has wonderful freshness and persistence on the palate. Bright and lively with nice structure, silky texture, and balanced tannins. This vintage reminds us of some of the more delicate Pinot Noir wines and vintages from Alsace, Germany, Austria, and Burgundy.