Pinot NoirSonoma Coast
Here on Rhinefarm, Pinot demands and deserves meticulous attention in the vineyard and gentle handling in the cellar, but this delicate and complicated beauty is well worth the effort. The reward is an elixir that is both vibrant and subtle.
This grape varietal absolutely has a mind of its own. If a grape varietal could be called this, Pinot, for sure, would be Type A. Finicky and high maintenance, Pinot needs delicate handwork from the vineyard to bottle. We strive for balanced vines on Rhinefarm, allowing only dappled sunlight to reach the fruit. Each clone within our vineyard, as well as vine age, expresses itself in a unique way, so our methods strive to capture what nature naturally delivers. The grapes are hand-picked and gravity fed to fermenters. Very careful pump-overs allow for minimal intervention, with nature taking the lead. The older vines are natively fermented while the younger ones receive a combination of native yeast and inoculated strains. This grape variety needs the least amount of time on skins to capture the depth of flavors while maintaining balanced tannins with the nuanced flavors.
Perfectly suited for the cooler parts of the estate, this grape is the second largest crop we grow after Cabernet Sauvignon. Eight of these acres are our Heritage Clone, planted mostly in 1970, and the remaining clones are 667 and 777. All of the Pinot Noir grows in the lower portion of the vineyard, a section that sits literally across the street from the Carneros appellation border and shares the cooling benefits of the fog from the San Pablo Bay to the south and the Petaluma Gap to the west. The topsoil is only 18”–30” deep, consisting of Huichica clay loam with occasional pockets of small stream gravel that have been deposited over centuries by the adjacent Arroyo Seco Creek. Beneath this layer is compacted Carneros Bay sediment that naturally restricts vigor. The climate and soils combine to maximize hangtime and tiny, concentrated berries.
To make the wine, we hand-harvest in several lots from the 14 separate blocks, the grape clusters are destemmed, then optically sorted and gravity fed directly into stainless steel fermentation tanks. A five to seven day cold soak helps develop color and intensity, with twice daily, gentle pumpovers, using louvers and screens to eliminate skin and seed contact. The wine spends 10 months in 100% French oak, 40% new.
At Gundlach Bundschu, we make great wine but also like to have a little fun. Here are some alternative ways to enjoy our Pinot Noir:
- Tailgating out of a sippy cup
- Camping with friends and family
- With grilled Portobello mushroom burger
- Paired with cedar planked salmon
- Next to some beautiful seared ahi tuna
- As a side item with herb-roasted turkey or chicken
- And, of course, roasted duck with cherry sauce
- Served with Gruyere and creamy cheeses
- Wine Type:
- Red Wine
- Pinot Noir
- Varietal Composition:
- 100% Pinot Noir
- Sonoma Coast
- 3-7 years
- Barrel Aging:
- 10 months
- 100% French oak
- 40% new
- Alcohol %: