Once again, the organically farmed grapes from Jim Haire’s vineyard in the renowned Carneros appellation provided us with an excellent opportunity to highlight what Carneros Pinot Noir has to offer in a moderately long, cool vintage. The vineyard is planted to several clones including two of the newer Dijon clones (667 & 777) and the older but well respected Pommard 4 and 115 clones, and has been organically certified since 2006. The fruit was hand harvested in the second week of October, almost a month later than usual, and fermented in small open top stainless steel tanks. Hand punchdowns every six hours during the fermentation ensured a gentle extraction of color and tannin and ten months aging in 100% French oak barrels, has given us a truly delicious wine with excellent depth and complexity. A medium ruby color and aromas of dark cherries, briary strawberry and subtle hints of vanilla and lavender give way to a lush, silky palate with more bright fruit, cedar, and toast. This wine also has a great acid/tannin balance that should allow for great aging potential in the years to come. Enjoy!
-Chris Pisani, Winemaker
The 2010 growing season was long and cool. It began with an unusually wet spring, which led to a late bud break, and finished with a perfectly timed heat spike in the last week of September. You couldn’t dream up a more perfect scenario for Pinot Noir, and the 2010 Founder’s Reserve is a stunning example of what the Carneros Appellation can produce in a cool vintage. Sourced exclusively from the ZD Carneros Estate Vineyard, this small six-acre block planted to the Hanzell clone selection has been the core of our Reserve Pinot Noir program since 2000. The organically certified vineyard is dry farmed and meticulously tended to by Rafael Llamas, ZD’s longtime vineyard manager. This vineyard is known for low yields, and produces small clusters and berries that are packed with intense flavor and concentration. Gentle winemaking practices in the cellar, including hand punchdowns during fermentation, complement the hard work done in the vineyard. Aged 15 months in French Oak barrels, this wine has just the right amount of vanilla, toast and cedar from the oak cooperage. It is tasting beautifully now with a dark ruby color and aromas of black cherry, cola, and rhubarb pie. Rich and round on the palate, the 2010 Founder’s Reserve Pinot Noir is packed with flavor and the acid balance ensures it will age gracefully for many years. We hope you enjoy it! 740 cases produced.
-Chris Pisani, Winemaker