2012 Adastra Vineyard 3L
Adastra is a California Certified Organic vineyard situated in the very heart of the Los Carneros appellation. Located in a low spot with cool air flow and very thin, relatively light clay-loam soils, it is a site with naturally low vigor. The inherently low yields produce extraordinary fruit from vines that require little in the way of manipulation, a hallmark of an exceptional vineyard. Chris Thorpe and his son-in-law Edwin Richards do an incredible job of managing this vineyard that produces wines unlike most Los Carneros Pinot noirs.
The 2012 vintage was ideal; budbreak occurred right on schedule in March and the weather was dry and mild during flowering and fruit set, producing a moderate crop. Supreme weather dominated for the balance of the growing season into harvest, with an absence of any remarkable heat waves or unusually cold weather. We picked when the grapes tasted incredibly delicious.
We picked all of our blocks in a single day. In addition to the blocks that we’ve historically sourced, we also worked with the first significant crop from four new blocks containing “suitcase” clones that had been budded over from merlot to pinot noir. The largest lot produced was a co-fermentation of several clones in a 5-ton open-top fermenter; we also fermented a couple of the clones separately in smaller fermenters; 25% whole cluster fruit was included in these fermentations. Feral fermentations started 4-5 days after harvest and all of the lots underwent extended maceration prior to pressing and barreling. The different lots were blended just prior to bottling. The wine was aged in François Frères, Dargaud et Jaegle, Marcel Cadet, Cadus, and Remond barrels.
The bouquet is a deep, well-integrated symphony of notes – licorice, black cherry with vanilla custard, a hint of briar, hay, and redwood bark. The flavors are bold, and comforting nips of raspberry, cherry, and dark plum yield to spicy cranberry on the mid-palate. The texture is built of silky tannins akin to the lush feel of high thread count sheets on skin, and the finish lingers and lingers.