Another new single-vineyard wine that had been going into the Eastside Road Neighbors since 2008. A very aromatic wine that is composed primarily of Dijon clones 777 & 115, with a small amount of Swan in the blend. Bright cherry fruits, fennel and star jasmine radiate in the aroma of this wine. Concentrated raspberry and cherry fruits, anise and toasted vanilla beans coat the palate along with rich, supple tannins. A more fruit-forward wine that is worth aging for 4-6 years.
—Director of Winemaking Bob Cabral
In 2001 approximately 14 acres of Pinot Noir were planted to 115 and 777. The Calegaris continued to make wine off of their Zinfandel vines and in 2003 and 2004, won a silver and gold medal, respectively, at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair for their Zinfandel Port. and of course, they were excited about the potential with the Pinot Noir.
The 2011 vintage was marked by another cool year that produced wines with tremendous purity and depth. Similar in many ways to 2010 – without the extremes – it had very low yields and below average cooler weather. But, the growing season in 2011 was much more consistent with gentle warming days and very cold summer nights. As a consequence, the vintage produced wines with incredible purity, remarkable acid and tannin balance, while expressing the uniqueness of each individual site and region.
The winter months brought abundant rainfall and kept the soil moist and cold.Bud break was delayed until the last week of March. Cool and overcast spring weather allowed for a slow growth cycle of the vines and likewise delayed flowering by a week to ten days. It rained several times at the end of May and early June, which affected the berry set and shattered many clusters — up to 20% of the berries on a cluster did not set. The rain also created protracted flowering and therefore a wider range of berry maturity. This type of flowering is similar to what typically happens in coastal vineyards. With a wide range of berry development with respect to flavor and tannin, the resultant wines exhibit a tremendous amount of depth and complexity.
The cool spring gave way to beautiful and mild weather in early summer and the lighter crop was able to mature at an even pace. In late August, the fog rolled in a little heavier than normal, which slowed down ripening a small amount. Harvest commenced on September 7th, and continued at an even pace until the remainder of the grapes were harvested just prior to the early October rains. Overall, yields were down in almost every vineyard – almost 25% lower in some cases.
The 2011 vintage may initially be remembered for the lower yields, but it will be defined by some incredibly site-driven and expressive wines. The signature of this vintage is one where the wines have bright fruit qualities, sound acidities and elegant tannin profiles. It is truly a vintage worth seeking.