2009 Rivers-Marie Occidental Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast—133 cases, 13.5% alc., 33% new oak
This is unlike anything we’ve ever made before and what leads us to state that individually, the 2009s are as different from each other as we’ve ever seen. One of the features of 2009 that contributed to such a small crop was a phenomenon people call chicks and hens or peas and pumpkins; clusters full of alternating sized berries. The peas at Occidental Ridge were exceptionally small in ’09, some comprised of only skin and seed. Twenty-four hours after de-stemming the fruit into tank, the juice was already dark purple. In the glass I’d call it electric purple due to the high acidity we see from the vineyard every year. The common thread that links this vintage to the four previous bottlings is there, but everything is amplified in 2009. It is once again a pure purple fruited wine with an aromatic and palate profile of cut hay, plum, menthol, and pennyroyal, a mint we found growing wild in the vineyard. We have slowly eased off the new oak each year and this edition wears its wood treatment better than any previous vintage.
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