This is always a multifaceted wine with aromas of wild raspberries, cherry, citrus blossom, fresh cardamom, green tea and cappuccino. The flavors of ripe pie cherries, mineral, anise and Asian spices are complemented by soft, juicy tannins and silky acidity. A very consistent site that seems to always deliver outstanding fruit, regardless of Mother Nature.
Precious Mountain located in the Sonoma Coast appellation, sits atop the second mountain ridge in from the Pacific Coast, near Fort Ross. This is a very small vineyard planted on steep slopes at an altitude of 1,750 feet. At this altitude coastal breezes, not fog, are responsible for Precious Mountain’s cool evenings and moderate daytime temperatures. The vineyard is dry farmed to produce intense flavors.
2009 produced magnificent wines, to rival those of 2007, expressing the individuality of the sites on which they were grown with intense flavors and perfumed aromas.
Following the hardships of the 2008 growing season, late winter and spring of 2009 were unseasonably warm with little precipitation. Bud break occurred early March and unlike 2008, frost was not a problem. Berry set was even, benefitting from ideal daytime temperatures around 70F-75F, despite early May rains. Some bunch-stem necrosis was evident on our vineyards, resulting in loss of yields.
The summer months were characterized by cooler than average weather, aided by morning fog, with very few heat spikes during the fruit ripening stage of the vine growth cycle. This resulted in intense flavor and aroma development, good acidity and phenolic development in tune with sugar accumulation. Warmer weather in late August ensured optimal ripeness culminating in harvest commencing in earnest by the Labor Day weekend. A warm September ensured that all Pinot Noir (Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Central Coast), Zinfandel and Chardonnay were picked before the mid-October rains that played havoc with later ripening varieties. Moderate yields delivered wines of exceptional color, flavors, and aromas with balanced acidity and tannins.
As in 2007, the wines convey their unique characters in a vivid, precise and evocative manner. The 2009 vintage is one of the finest I have experienced in my 31 vintages at a commercial winery.