2014 Fox Den Vineyard Pinot Noir
Fox Den Vineyard is perched on top of Stoetz Ridge, at the western border of Green Valley and just above the town of Occidental. The Gold Ridge Sandy Loam soil here is extremely sandy since this ridge is old pushed-up sea bottom, which makes for low vigor vines, slow ripening, and beautifully floral and fruit driven wine. Here on the hill, it’s frequently a touch warmer than the bottom of the valley, but it’s still always among the last harvested and highest in natural acidity of our pinots. Dan and Steve planted the spot together in 2002, and Dan has been crafting the wine since 2004. The eight acres is split into three clones: 667 for vivid fruit, 777 for chewy tannins and 115 for brightness and floral aromatics. For the vineyard designated wine, the exact blend between them will vary each year, but the result is always a wine with sweet, lush cherry/strawberry fruit and great natural acidity. This beautiful site is the home of Ed and Sue Smith, old friends who now lovingly oversee their 8 acres of beautifully farmed fruit.
Another dry winter and continued drought conditions led to an early harvest and intense phenolic development. The deep ruby color excites while the dark cherry and blueberry aromas allure. Digging deeper, tantalizing aromas of toffee and butterscotch from the oak aging are exposed. On the palate, the entry is rich and firm, followed by sweet blueberry compote and mouth coating soft tannins. Continually balanced throughout on its characteristic acid backbone, this wine finishes with rich blueberry and spice, leaving you ready to line up for the ride all over again. Ready to drink now for the fruit-forward-enthusiast, this wine will also continue to gain complexity over the next 10 years. 565 cases produced.
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