2017 Pinot Noir Doctor's Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
Our 2017 Pinot Noir is from the Doctor’s Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation, located on the east side of the Santa Lucia Mountain Range. Doctor’s Vineyard is well-drained, with old alluvial soils on the lower slopes and considerable rock on the upper slopes. The combination of high altitude and the cooling influence of the ocean breezes make it a perfect region for growing Pinot Noir with lots of character and intensity. In addition, the vineyard was planted to multiple Pinot Noir clones, which offer a wonderful array of aromas and textures.
Fortunately, Santa Lucia Highlands wasn’t affected by the devastating California fires of 2017. There was no wildfire and no smoke anywhere near the vineyard. Still, the entire state was affected by the Labor Day Weekend heat wave, when temperatures soared toward 110 degrees. The usually cool Santa Lucia Highlands got hot, but the vines made it through just fine, thanks to wise canopy management and the return of the usual morning fog.
The winemaking process helps to accentuate the classic aromas and flavors of the special terroir while adding complexity to the finished wine. The Pinot Noir grapes are de-stemmed and sorted by hand. They are then placed into open top fermenters and punched down manually until fermentation is complete. The free run juice is racked into French oak barrels where the wine ages for 16 months before bottling. The resulting wine from this vintage is highly perfumed and fruit driven, with a solid core of acidity and well-integrated, unobtrusive tannins - in other words, in the style on which the appellation has built its reputation. We delayed this wine’s release to allow for maturation of the wine in the bottle. Our patience has been rewarded with a ready-to-drink wine that retains its freshness while offering considerable complexity in the aromas and flavors.
Our 2017 Doctor’s Vineyard Pinot Noir has a medium garnet color. The aromas are distinctive - cherry, cranberry, and rhubarb. The nose is forward and gracious. On the palate, the wine is rich, round, and soothing, with a wonderfully soft texture and excellent finesse. The flavors are predominantly black cherry with a hint of cardamom. The finish is long and lingering.
This is a classic Doctor’s Vineyard wine, with elegance, power, and excellent balance. Like all fine wines, it becomes more expressive over time in the glass. With its fine structure, full depth, and soft tannins, our 2017 Pinot Noir will benefit from aging for 5-8 years if you can hold onto it for that long.