Rapture Pinot Noir 2013
The fruit for this wine comes from our Annapolis vineyard, located in Sonoma County, California, about three miles from the Pacific Ocean, at an elevation of about 1,000 ft.
Annapolis is nestled on a sunny hilltop and surrounded by redwood forests on the true Sonoma Coast where the views are as beautiful as they are breathtaking. Annapolis produces deep, richly textured Pinot Noir wines. The Pinot fruit tends to be darker here and tends to make a more vibrant, silky wine.
We wanted well-drained, poor soil, starting with deficiencies that would ensure the vines were stressed and gave their all to fruit quality. Our Annapolis vineyards have eroded sandstone that had once been the ocean floor of an inland sea, in fact this is the highly sort-after Goldridge soil so famous in parts of Russian River Valley.
Here the land is cooler than Carneros or the Russian River Valley, making the Pinot much more aromatically complex. Our choice was for Dijon clones to emulate their success in Burgundy’s climate and soils since we don’t have the same amount of sunlight here as in other Pinot growing areas.
More on Goldridge soils. The Goldridge series consists of deep and very deep, moderately well drained soils formed in material weathered from weakly consolidated sandstone. Fine-loamy, mixed, superactive, isomesic Typic Haplustults Goldridge soils are on rolling uplands with slopes of 2 to 50 percent. The mean annual precipitation is 45 inches and the mean annual temperature is 56 degrees F.
The question is why is Goldridge soil so good for growing Pinot Noir?
We think it boils down to two characteristics:
• Goldridge soil is not particularly fertile and does not hold water well. These probably sound like disadvantages, but in fact it’s just the reverse. Both factors create an environment that forces the vines to struggle and aspire often achieving greater flavor.
• From a farming perspective, Goldridge soil allows us a great degree of control over how much water and other inputs our vines get, and we believe that control allows us to assist the vines to produce the best fruit possible.
Rapture starts out with a moderately dark red-purple color in the glass, showing darker fruits and a more earthy expectation. On the nose are aromas of blackberries, black grape, dark chocolate, briar, spice and a hint of pine. Refined flavors of dark red cherries and berries that expand in the mouth to delicious dark plum and black raspberry fruit engaging the palate with hints of earthy goodness and exotic spices. The finish leaves a glorious silky impression.
The 2013 vintage exceeded our expectations on both quality and quantity. Rare as it was to have another fruitful year right after the record breaking 2013 crush, the quality across all varietals was also excellent.
The overall vigor of this growing season was high which required more canopy management and more vigilance with regard to pest abatement. The harvest began and finished early, the timing of crop maturity being dictated entirely by our canopy management practices and manually reduced crop load.
By addressing canopy management and green fruit harvesting early we were able to significantly reduce pest pressure and encourage early fruit ripening. The final wine quality in tank was excellent across the board for all varietals and appellations.