The vineyard sits at 1700’ elevation on an old lake bed, looking down at the Monterey Bay over Eureka Canyon in Corralitos. Being only 5 miles away from the Pacific Ocean, the maritime cooling influence, aka fog, creeps up Eureka Canyon and nestles in just below the vineyard, making it appear as if you are standing on an island in the sun, with the ability to step off the island and swim in the fog. Soils are grey sandstone and clay primarily, with marble or limestone deep down. 30 year-old vines, dry-farmed, mostly heritage clones from what is known as “David Bruce Selection” or “Wente Select”. These are one of the last remaining plantings of the original field selections that Paul Masson brought from Burgundy in the 1890s- some of the first pinot noir ever grown in the United States.
Pinot from this vineyard is known for its delicate, floral aroma. Hi-toned red fruit lays under aromas of rose petal and subtle redwood bark/forest spice. The 2014 is the most ethereal in style of the wines we’ve produced from Split Rail.
No SO2 added at harvest. 3 day cold soak at 40ºF, 5% saignee after 22 hours on skins, then allowed to gradually warm and begin a native fermentation, which began on day five. One Macro 24 inoculated with RC212 at 20º brix, 3 Macro 48s inoculated with AMH at 21º brix. Clonal lots fermented and pressed separately. Heritage clones pressed direct to barrel, Pommard clones pressed to tank and settled before barrel-down. Weekly battonnage for 3 months. Native and cultured malo lactic cultures added. 7 of 9 barrels racked and blended in June, at which time 2 Pommard barrels were held back and used in the appellation blend, as a means of keeping the blend heritage-clone dominant. Bottled unfined and unfiltered July 21st, 2015.
93 Points/Editor’s Choice – Wine Enthusiast