The wine displays a brilliant garnet color. Expressive aromas are of black plum, mulberry, black tea, earth and a touch of anise and violets. The wine evolves with every sip revealing balance and structure with a finish of tart cherry, cedar and volcanic minerals. The wine goes well with food or on its own and should age a decade or more.
The wine is a blend of Dijon 777, 667 and 115 clones. Harvest was on separate days for each of the clones. The grapes were destemmed into open top fermenters. A cold soak followed by a slight inoculation of wine yeast allowed native yeasts to survive well into the fermentation. Punch downs were twice a day. The wine was pressed into French oak barrels, one of five being new, and aged for 11 months before bottling. The wine was racked once prior to bottling.
The Black Knight Vineyard is situated at high elevation in the southeast of the Sonoma Coast AVA due east of the Petaluma Gap. The high elevation, morning fog and a cool afternoon breeze keep the grapes cool and make for a relatively long growing season. The fog often covers the vineyard into the afternoon. The grapes are grown utilizing organic practices.
The North Coast Pinot Noir is a beautiful ruby red color. It initially exhibits vibrant aromas of rose petal, blueberry, strawberry and raspberry. With time, complex flavors of wild mushrooms, almonds, black tea and cedar are revealed. The wine exudes a bright elegant structure with a velvety softness. The fabulous flavors seem to linger forever in the finish. The wine is a very nice on its own or with food. Drink now or age for 10-15 years.
Roughly 55% of the grapes came from the Anderson Valley AVA, 35% from the Coombsville AVA and 10% from the Sonoma Coast AVA. Just over 60% of the blend was from Pommard Clone with remainder from Dijon 777, Dijon 115 and Swan.
The grapes were harvested in the early morning to make use of nature to keep the grapes cool. About 90% of the grapes were destemmed into open top fermentation bins as whole berries with the remaining 10% put directly into the fermentation bins as whole clusters, stems and all. The fermentations were punched down twice a day. Upon completion of fermentation, the wines were pressed and immediately put into previously used French oak barrels for aging. The wines were topped monthly and racked once during 10 months of aging.
The North Coast AVA is north of San Francisco and includes vineyard areas within the counties of Lake, Marin, Mendocino Napa, Solano and Sonoma. The climate of this large growing region is characterized by fog and cool breezes from the Pacific Ocean.