With a very effusive nose of flowers, red and black fruits, and blood orange, the 2015 Terra de Promissio continues to prove to be a great site. Underlying notes of tobacco and sous bois add an intriguing counterpoint to the brooding nature of Terra. The palate exudes an elegance with red cherry and plum flavors that transition to citrus peel. The oolong tea-like tannins give way to a wonderful crushed quartz finish.
“The Land of Promise” is family owned and operated by husband and wife team Charles and Diana Karren. The Karrens bought a 50 acre dairy ranch in 1999 and planted over 33,000 Pinot Noir vines on 32 acres in 2002. Terra de Promissio had its first harvest in 2005.
The 2015 vintage continues the hit parade of great quality vintages of the last four years. The season started under extreme drought conditions for the 4th consecutive season despite a wet early winter. January was very dry and warm and brought bud break earlier than expected by about 12 days compared to 2014. The rains returned in early February and dramatically slowed down the growth of the plants. May temperatures were some of the coldest on record and negatively impacted flowering and therefore fruit set. It was common for clusters to have millerandage, or a “hens and chicks” (big berry, little berry) phenotype, great for wine quality but severely limited yields. By the end of July the heat returned and, coupled with limited fog intrusion, the ripening process sped along quickly. In fact, harvest started on the last day of July…the earliest on record in the 36 vintages at Williams Selyem! Despite an auspicious start and a dramatic finish to the season, the 2015 wines may surpass some of the great recent vintages as they are bold and yet maintain their trueness to site. With superb color, structure and acidity, the wines have staying power, but with the wonderful texture and richness that are expressed today, who can resist them now?