Grown at 500’ elevation near the town of Philo in the Anderson Valley, in gravelly Pinole soils. Pinole soils, common in Anderson Valley, are primarily sandy clay loam, and are very deep, fertile, well-drained soils that typically foster grasses and herbs. Pennyroyal, known for its distinctive minty/herbal scent, is an herb that can be found throughout this redwood-ringed vineyard, and we believe this lush fertility, cool, foggy nights, and the surrounding flora influence the wines from this site.
This wine is a personal milestone for me: it was a wine from Toulouse Vineyard in 2002 that lit my Pinot fire. Years later, the person who made that wine had become a close friend and offered me grapes from this iconic vineyard site. I’m pleased that this vintage has all the qualities that first attracted me to Pinot Noir, yet it also clearly has my winemaking imprint on it. Dried cranberries, baking spice and some brown herbs weave in-and-out of a core of dark cherry, with a cinnamon-like structural backbone from whole-cluster inclusion of the most physiologically ripe woody stems I’ve ever seen. There’s also a subtle gaminess that is attractive to me in Burgundies I’ve enjoyed in the past. My intention with this wine was to make a wine that would stand the test of time. In her youth, the 2015 Toulouse has a grippy tannin backbone that will soften with time. I very much recommend aging this wine for 5 years at least.
Cold soaked 6 days at 40º and then moved out to room temp to gradually warm and begin a native fermentation in 1.5 ton fermentors. Inoculated at 20 brix— one fermentor with RC212 and one with AMH. Pressed to tank at 4 brix after 14 days total cuvasion. Settled for 2 days and barreled down. Some barrels inoculated for malolactic fermentation, others native. Batonnage every 2 weeks for 3 months. Sur lie until July, racked once, then bottled unfiltered in late August.