Chico's Run Pinot Noir 2015
Why “Chico's Run”? This special bottling is named after my loyal English Springer Spaniel, Chico, who loves to run up and down the sloping plateau where the vines are planted. It is a barrel selection from 76% Pommard and 24% Dijon 667, which we feel truly represents the terroir and ageability of the Doña Margarita Vineyard.
The Doña Margarita Vineyard: Named after the late matriarch of the Torres family, this 20-acre vineyard is located on the Bohemian Highway, between Freestone and Occidental, in the Sonoma Coast AVA (appellation of origin). The cool breezes and drifting fog from the Pacific Ocean, six miles away, make it an ideal site for Pinot Noir. Planted in the European style of super-high density, with 2,340 vines per acre, the yields are low and labor is intensive; but the vines live longer and the grapes acquire better balance and greater concentration, as well as more elegance and finesse than with the traditional low density.
The Vinification: The grapes were harvested on September 8 - 9, lightly crushed and destemmed, then fermented using our own indigenous yeast in small stainless steel tanks. The wine was aged in premium French oak barrels, 29% new, coopered by Marchive from the forest of Bertranges and Rousseau from the Center of France. It was bottled, unfined and unfiltered, in August 2016.
Tasting Notes: This special bottling shows a lovely nose of cassis and blackberries, intense and complex, with savory flavors reminiscent of roasted coffee and orange zest. The supple but firm tannins are well integrated and promise a long life; it will continue to develop for at least another 15-20 years. I would recommend serving it at cellar temperature, between 58-60° F, and it will benefit from decanting.