Late winter rainstorms and a warm January including a record breaking 80F day perhaps helped to trick the vines into getting an early start. Pinot buds at Janes vineyard swelled during the third week of Feb, and so we were again thinking already of an early harvest months down the road. After several years of higher yields, the vines took a rest and produced a smaller crop. Periods of coolness were punctuated by heat spikes in late June, causing a little burn on the skins, and a heat wave in mid-August, which resulted in grape sugars climbing quickly. Harvest commenced very early, on August 22. Our yield this vintage for the Clone 667 was lower
than normal at 1.5 tons per acre, on 10 foot rows.
Winemaking is light handed, with timely and deliberate choices made to craft a wine that genuinely reflects the vineyard and vintage. We like our Pinot delicate and graceful, with all elements in balance. We strive for complexity and interest, and above all deliciousness. All of the blocks at Janes Vineyard are hand-picked in the early morning hours, de-stemmed to stainless steel tanks for cold soaking, followed by fermentation with native yeasts for extra complexity. The 2015 Janes Vineyard Clone 667 Pinot Noir was aged in 100% French oak barrels from the finest coopers, 20% of which were new. Malolactic fermentation ensued in the barrels and finished in early December.
Davis Bynum is distinguished as the fi rst winery to produce a single vineyard Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley. The vintage was 1973 and the grapes were from Joe Rochiolis now prized vineyard. Today, our heritage of winemaking lives on through hand-crafted single vineyard wines grown exclusively in Russian River Valley.
The vines at Janes Vineyard generally show moderate vigor in their growth habit, mainly due to the acidic, nutrient poor soil and good drainage from the gravelly loam. The Huichica soil is shallow, with a hardpan at a low depth, so we planted on 101-14 rootstock which has a shallower rooting angle to match the soil profile. Correspondingly, the vines get water stressed, which we watch closely during the warmer months of the summer. The Clone 667 block vine rows are oriented just off of east/west so the grapes get more sun on one side than the other, and the picking decision is about finding the balance between the riper southern side and lesser ripe northern side.