2017 Clone 828 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

$69.00

From France to Sonoma Coast to you

Tasting Notes:

This wine has a bright nose of fresh cranberry, red raspberry and strawberry mixed with spice notes of white pepper and earthen floor. The brightness carries through to the palate, filled with flavors of pomegranate mixed with a panoply of red fruits, spices, white pepper with a subtle rich minerality. The mouth-feel integrates earthiness with the fresh fruit and fine tannins in the mid palate. The finish is long and rich, revealing silky tannins combined with emerging cherry, gentle minerality, lustrous acidity and white pepper.

Fermentation Method:

Grapes were picked before sunrise, hand-sorted and de-stemmed then cold-soaked for five days before going through whole berry fermentation and receiving two punch-downs per day. Fermentation took approximately 12-16 days in an open top five-ton fermentation tank and the wine was then racked to barrels.
Barrel Program: 30% new French Oak, 30% one-year-old French Oak and 40% older. Wine remained in barrel for ten months with one racking at five months during blending.

Description

By 2006, Halleck Vineyard had emerged as one of the top wineries amongst a handful of boutiques in our neighborhood. To say we were a big fish in a little pond would be overstating. We were a small fish in a small pond, but showing some bright colors.

One of the big fish in our neighborhood was a gentleman named Brice Cutrer Jones. He was the founder of Sonoma Cutrer, a poster child for success in the region. Sonoma Cutrer was known for Chardonnay. In 1999, he sold Sonoma Cutrer to Brown Forman, an American alcoholic beverage giant, represented in 170 countries. He took the money and founded another winery in Sebastopol, Emeritus, and planted Pinot Noir vineyards in aging apple orchards.

Adventurous by nature, in 2000 Brice planted the very first Pinot Noir Dijon Clone 828, originating from Dijon, France. He had a small vineyard on the northern Sonoma Coast.
In 2004, the movie Sideways was released and Pinot Noir became a craze. Having been judged the #1 Pinot in the US in 2002 put Halleck Vineyard on the Pinot map.

Brice’s first crop of Clone 828 was ready in 2006, prior to his winery, Emeritus. He selected a half dozen of the best winemakers in our neighborhood and offered the fruit at a bargain price. Of course, none of us knew if it was a bargain or not. No one had made wine from this vineyard before, nor this clone.

We were flattered to be included, though little could we afford this gamble. But we bit.

Our 2006 Clone 828 was one of the most dazzling wines to come from Halleck Vineyard. It sold out quickly and we anticipated getting it again. We were disappointed.
Brice bought cases from all the winemakers to whom he sold fruit and used the results to craft his own wines for Emeritus. Discouraging further, there was no Clone 828 to be had anywhere. It was just too new. Farmers are conservative, as a rule. They’re not looking for the latest Dijon Clones to consume valuable real estate. They want grapes with a track record and a predictable market.

However, with the colossal impact of the movie, Sideways, people were planting Pinot Noir everywhere. Normally it would take a generation for a new Clone, sold in nurseries to wineries, to create a footprint in a region. There are about 20 clones of Pinot Noir being used for wine in the US. Demand for new clones is generally low. Due to the movie, however, Clone 828 flew out of the nurseries into the ground with all the other clones, cleaning out the nurseries for years running.

By 2013, a small vineyard right on Burnside Road had Clone 828 available for sale. We purchased that fruit right out-of-the-gate. Unfortunately, the craze for Pinot continued, and that vineyard was sold to a large Napa Valley winery just two years later. Scouring the area, we were able to locate yet another vineyard of Clone 828 nearby. We immediately drew up a contract and have secured that fruit for the future. It continues to make a stunning wine. We’re the only American winery to make a single vineyard, single clone wine of this grape.

Our 2015 vintage earned a Double Gold. Then our 2016 vintage was judged #1 Pinot Noir in North America in the 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine competition.
The 2017 is equally outstanding!

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