I am excited to announce that soon we will be releasing our new 2015 Glenwood Cellars Pinot Noir. Once again, I teamed up with two talented winemakers: Kent Humphrey and his co-winemaker Hanna Chort, of Eric Kent Wine Cellars in Windsor, Calif., to blend and produce this wine.
The 2015 California wine grape crop shrank to its lowest level in the last four years with a 5% decline from the 2014 harvest. Even though the crop was light, especially on the coastal areas, it was still healthy. Industry experts say the reason for the lighter yield was a spell of cool weather in the springtime.
The blend of our 2015 Pinot Noir celebrates the historic Sonoma Carneros region with finishing touches from vineyards in both the Sonoma Mountain and the Russian River Valley. These additional wines add further structure and signature spice to the finish cuvée.
The wine was fermented 100% in small, open-top, stainless steel tanks and punched down three times per day. At some point during the maceration process (which made the white juice red from the skin) the fermentation process starts. Fermentation is visibly evident as the mixture in the tank starts to bubble. This is caused by heat and releasing of gases as the sugar in the mixture turns into alcohol.
The pressure inside the mixture of juice, grape pulp, skins, seeds and stems is called must which causes all of the solids to rise to the top of the tank. This solid mixture includes the red skin of the grapes. When this happens it leaves the not completely colored clear juices behind.
To continue the maceration process the solids are punched down by hand to keep the pigment rich (skins in contact with as much juice as possible) before pressing and piping into French oak barrels. The wine then aged in the barrels for 18 months. We produced 173 cases of the Pinot Noir from the wine in the barrels.
Winemakers Tasting Notes
2015 was a year of exceptionally low Pinot Noir yields all across Sonoma, with small clusters and tiny berries providing impressive color, concentration, structure and tannin to the finished wines. Delicate and tightly wound aromas of dark berry, cola nut, mint, rose petal and fresh earth are refined and captivating. One sip reveals the serious intensity of the vintage, with gorgeous palate presence and tremendous length revealing dark cherry, black raspberry, cola and cloves and a hint of black licorice completing the ensemble. Immensely satisfying now, this Pinot should also age nicely in your cellar for another three to five years.
My Tasting Notes
I found the wine to have aromas of flowers and fruits. On the palate there were tastes of black cherry and other red fruits. The finish was slightly bold with hints of acidity. The finish did linger for 10 to 15 seconds and left a slightly rich and smooth feeling. We have yet to have this vintage scored. Our last two vintages scored 91 points and 88 points. Based on this history we assume that we will be in the 90-point range on our 2015 vintage.
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Until next week,
Calendar of Events
- August 1st – International Albariño Day
- August 18th – International Pinot Noir Day
- September 3rd – International Cabernet Day
- September 15th – International Grenache Day
- November 7th – International Merlot Day
- November 12th – International Tempranillo Day
- November 15th – International Zinfandel Day
- December 16th – National Wine Club Day
- December 20th – National Sangria Day
- December 31st – National Champagne Day