2018 vintage notes
93 points Wine Spectator: "Lithe and delicately layered, with expressive raspberry and pomegranate flavors that take on orange peel and spiced cinnamon notes on the way to polished tannins. Drink now through 2028. 705 cases made."
The winery: This bottling has always been a powerful view of this vineyard site and we still have blocks in the vineyard in the 10-21 year-old range that have not made (will not make?) the change to the far more chic and mineral-driven Estate Old Vine style. That is fine. Our Estate Vineyard is fairly large and incredibly diverse, so having two very different wines coming off of it is great. To us, this is the exciting part of Pinot Noir and vineyard management, and the marriage of the two in winemaking.
The wine is dark in color, dense in earth-tinged dark fruits with relatively thick tannins. However, as the vineyard has aged, fewer blocks are still producing this style of wine that seems to be indicative of the young vines. This comes from just three blocks: a 1998 southeast-facing planting of Pommard, a 2000 south-southeast facing planting of Pommard at lower elevation and, for the first time ever, a 2000 planting of Pommard that faces east at the top and back of the vineyard. This section has finally developed into something beautiful and representative of this site and particular bottling and we are very excited about its inclusion in this wine! The lower block of Pommard by the winery was done with 50% stem inclusion while all the fruit from the other two blocks were done as 100% de-stemmed. Everything went through a standard cold soak of about 4-7 days depending on the block, fermented in 1.75-ton open-top fermenters and was pigeaged 1x/day before being pressed and allowed to settle for 3 days. This spent a little less than a year in barrel with only 3% being new barrels while 86% were neutral so there is minimal oak influence in this wine allowing the pure nature of this dark Ribbon Ridge bottling to really come out. We dry farm our vineyard and these younger vines, even at 19-21 years of vine age, are still under a bit of duress. This leads to small, tight clusters and fairly thick skins. This gives the wine its trademark dark, almost purplish color with a hefty and dense structure. This can be a bit savage in nature when youthful but it comes around surprisingly fast and, of course, is good for many years.