2013 Pinot Noir
Griffin’s Lair is a vineyard in what will soon be known as the Petaluma Gap – an area of emerging brilliance with Pinot noir and Syrah. It also happens to be a part of an important bird corridor and they just love those wonderful (and expensive) grapes. While some use less expensive options to combat the problem, the only real solution in this area is netting to go over the top of the vine rows and it is labor intensive and expensive. A plastic cup on top of each post is used to stop the netting being damaged. It looks odd seeing a field of red cups over the posts across the vineyards! The nets drive me crazy when I’m sampling the vineyard to determine ripeness and make my picking decision. I collect 200 berries or so at random in order to taste and to measure pH and sugar levels. It takes me 3-5 times longer to sample when I have to coax a berry out from inside the canopy and then through the netting without dropping them.
To make matters more complicated I get 2 clones from the vineyard; clone 115 for aromatics and delicacy and “Pommard” for color and power. The effort is worthwhile, the 2013 is one of my best Pinots. Still young, perhaps even better with decanting, but able to show what makes Pinot so special; intensity without heaviness. Drink now or keep for up to another 5 years